10 things you didn't know about Billy Graham

If you didn't grow up listening to Billy Graham's Sunday radio show or watching his TV show -- you might not know the...

Posted: Feb 21, 2018 2:47 PM
Updated: Feb 21, 2018 2:47 PM

If you didn't grow up listening to Billy Graham's Sunday radio show or watching his TV show -- you might not know the ubiquitous Christian televangelist from the WWE wrestler.

Outside of being the "pastor to the presidents," Graham -- who died Wednesday at the age of 99 -- was one of the first Christian preachers to harness the power of media to spread his religion's message.

Here are 10 facts about the man known as the "Protestant Pope":

1. Billy Graham once preached for more than 100 nights straight

Every night for 16 consecutive weeks, Billy Graham addressed the sold-out audiences in New York's Madison Square Garden at his so-called New York Crusade in 1957. The event was only supposed to last for six weeks.

2. He's met with 12 post-war presidents

From Harry Truman to Barack Obama, Billy Graham knew them all -- attending the inaugurations of six presidents and delivering the invocations for two: George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

3. He helped George W. Bush stop drinking

In his 2010 book "Decision Points," former President George W. Bush said he was actually drunk when he first met Graham at his parents' family home in Maine in 1985. The two talked extensively the next day and later, Graham sent Bush a Bible and that he said helped him to better understand Christianity and change his life.

4. He apologized for anti-Semitic remarks caught on tape with President Nixon

In March 2002, tapes were released of private conversations between President Nixon and Graham in 1973, in which Graham joins Nixon in making anti-Semitic remarks. Graham later apologized.

5. His preaching has been heard in nearly every country

Billy Graham's preaching has been heard in more than 185 of the world's 195 countries, to 215 million people.

6. More than a million people came to see him on one day

On June 3, 1973, an estimated 1.1 million people attended the final day of a five-day crusade in Seoul, South Korea -- the largest single turnout for a Billy Graham rally. More than 3.2 million attended the entire crusade, the largest gathering he's ever had.

7. Mormonism no longer a "cult" after Romney meeting

After Graham met with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney -- a Mormon -- at his mountaintop retreat in 2012, the Billy Graham Evangelical Association removed a reference on its website that said Mormonism was a cult. The association's chief of staff Ken Barun explained that the reference was scrubbed "because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become politicized during this campaign."

8. He was a registered Democrat

Despite his conservative views, Billy Graham told Katie Couric in 2005 that he was a registered Democrat, adding that it doesn't determine the candidates he supports. "I'm for whoever the best candidate is," he said.

9. He's converted more than 3 million people

While the actual number is unknown, at least 3.2 million people have decided to convert to evangelical Christianity as a result of his preaching, according to William Martin's book, "A Prophet With Honor: The Billy Graham Story."

10. Preaching kept him away from the birth of his first child

Billy Graham missed the birth of his first child, Virginia, known as Gigi, in 1945 because he was away on a preaching trip. In his autobiography "Just As I Am," Graham talked about the sacrifices his wife Ruth made raising the couple's five children. "What I missed!" he wrote. "And what Ruth missed by not having me to help her. Whenever I did get home, I got a crash course in the agony and ecstasy of parenting. If Ruth had not been convinced that God had called her to fulfill that side of our partnership and had not resorted constantly to God's Word for instruction and to His grace for strength, I don't see how she could have survived."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 253932

Reported Deaths: 5524
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17120175
Hinds16207322
Harrison13353193
Rankin10689211
Jackson10303183
Lee8796141
Madison8232162
Jones6288110
Forrest5949119
Lauderdale5847180
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Warren348498
Union343060
Marshall341665
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Lincoln297085
Sunflower282669
Tate270862
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Alcorn263253
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Pike262077
Scott246245
Prentiss245052
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Tippah240450
Simpson234867
Leake230564
Coahoma230054
Grenada217770
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Marion210672
Adams204670
Winston200164
Wayne199630
George199038
Attala193559
Newton191342
Tishomingo184459
Chickasaw183644
Jasper169735
Holmes168567
Clay159033
Stone142320
Tallahatchie140134
Clarke138660
Calhoun135721
Smith120123
Yalobusha116534
Walthall111836
Noxubee110322
Greene109729
Montgomery109434
Carroll104221
Lawrence102417
Perry101631
Amite97725
Webster92224
Tunica86321
Claiborne86125
Jefferson Davis84125
Humphreys82924
Benton81523
Kemper77120
Quitman6888
Franklin66415
Choctaw60313
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53819
Sharkey42717
Issaquena1596
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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