Evangelist Billy Graham celebrates 99th birthday Tuesday

1918: Evangelist Billy Graham, who rose to celebrity status in 1949 with revival meetings in Los Angeles that drew national media attention, is born in Charlotte, North Carolina.

A big day is at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte Tuesday. Reverend Graham turns 99 and people there are celebrating the way he would want them to, according to our sister station WLOS.

The famous evangelist is said to be celebrating quietly in Montreat with family members as health issues prevent him from traveling.

Throughout the day, the library will be open to followers wishing to stop by and sign a banner for Rev. Graham, leaving their prayers and well wishes.

This 99th birthday marks the beginning of Reverend Billy Graham's 100th year.

In his lifetime, Reverend Billy Graham has been a spiritual counselor to multiple U.S. presidents, friends with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and has reached millions of people through his crusades that lasted decades.

According to his website, more than 3.2 million people have responded to the invitation at Billy Graham Crusades to "accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior".

As of 2008, Graham's estimated lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, topped 2.2 billion. Because of his crusades, Graham has preached the gospel to more people in person than anyone in the history of Christianity.

Billy Graham's 99th Birthday Marks Beginning of Yearlong Observation

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