Evangelist Billy Graham speaks to members of the media at a news conference in New York, U.S. June 21, 2005.
Evangelist Billy Graham speaks to members of the media at a news conference in New York, US June 21, 2005.REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

Renowned US Christian evangelist Billy Graham, who preached to millions of people across the world in a career spanning more than 60 years, passed away at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, 7:46 a.m. (6:16 pm IST) on Wednesday, February 21. He was 99.

Jeremy Blume, a spokesperson for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has confirmed the death of the evangelist, who was one of the most influential Christian preachers of the 20th century.

Billy Graham is estimated to have preached to over 210 million people through his crusades and simulcasts around the world during his 60-year career and had spoken to a dozen US presidents, including Harry Truman, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Barack Obama. The presidents reportedly used to call on him during dark hours for inspiration.

The renowned preacher retired to his home at Montreat, North Carolina, in 2005 due to his failing health after preaching about Jesus Christ to millions of people in several countries over six decades. His final revival session was held in New York City in 2005 when he was 86.

He made a rare public appearance in 2010 for the re-dedication event of the renovated Billy Graham Library despite significant vision and hearing loss. He had been treated for pneumonia, cancer and other ailments in the recent years.

Describing him as 'a special man', President Donald Trump tweeted: "The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man."

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