Timeline of the life of Billy Graham

A man who started his career as a Fuller Brush salesman lived an extraordinary life that spanned more than nine decades.

RNS GRAHAM:  Charlotte, NC -- Billy Graham, the tall boy in the back, poses with some classmates at Sharon High School in Charlotte, NC, in this 1936 shot.

Religion News Service file photo.

(RNS) — Evangelist Billy Graham died on Wednesday (Feb. 21). Here is a timeline of his life:

— 1918: Born Nov. 7 in Charlotte, N.C.

— 1934: Made personal commitment to Jesus during Charlotte, N.C., revival meeting.

— 1936: Earned money for college as a Fuller Brush salesman. Attended Bob Jones College in Cleveland, Tenn.

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— 1937-40: Attended and graduated from Florida Bible Institute near Tampa, Fla.

— 1939: Ordained to the ministry in a Southern Baptist church in Florida.

— 1943: Graduated from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill. Married Ruth McCue Bell.

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— 1943-45: Pastor, First Baptist Church, Western Springs, Ill.

— 1945-50: Charter vice president, Youth for Christ International, Chicago.

— 1947-52: President, Northwestern Schools, which included a liberal arts college, Bible school and theological seminary in Minneapolis.

— 1949: Gained national attention with Los Angeles crusade.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and evangelist Billy Graham

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and evangelist Billy Graham in a 1962 photo. Photo courtesy of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

— 1950: Founded Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Minneapolis. Began weekly “Hour of Decision” radio program. Began Billy Graham Films, which became World Wide Pictures in 1952.

— 1952: Started “My Answer,” syndicated newspaper column.

— 1956: Founded Christianity Today magazine.

— 1957: Led a New York City crusade in Madison Square Garden nightly for 16 weeks.

— 1966: Convened the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin.

— 1974: Convened the Lausanne Conference for religious leaders to develop evangelism strategies.

— 1982: Awarded Templeton Foundation Prize for Progress in Religion.

— 1989: Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame; first clergyman to receive the honor.

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— 1995: His ministry transmitted a “Global Mission” evangelistic conference via satellite to 185 countries in 116 languages. His son Franklin, also an evangelist, is named eventual successor to lead Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

— 1996: Awarded Congressional Gold Medal.

— 1999: First nonmusician inducted into Gospel Music Hall of Fame by the Gospel Music Association.

Billy Graham speaks at Flushing Meadows

Billy Graham speaks at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the Queens borough of New York City during the Greater New York Billy Graham Crusade. Photo by Michael McWeeney

— 2000: His ministry sponsored Amsterdam 2000, an international meeting of evangelists.

— 2002: Son Franklin Graham named president of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

— 2005: Hosted dedication ceremony with son Franklin at new headquarters of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Charlotte, N.C. Preached last New York City crusade.

— 2007: Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., opened. Ruth Graham, his wife of more than 63 years, died.

— 2018: Died on Feb. 21 at age 99.

Source: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Religion News Service

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