Billy Graham (1918- )
He’s Been Called “America’s Pastor”
William Franklin Graham, Jr., grew up in a Reform Presbyterian household near Charlotte, North Carolina. After high school, he worked briefly as a Fuller Brush salesman, but soon enrolled in a series of fundamentalist Christian colleges. His subsequent career as a minister made his name a household word around the world.
A string of Presidents from both parties, beginning with President Eisenhower, relied on Graham as an informal advisor. President George Bush called him “America’s Pastor.” Graham angered some fundamentalist Christians by refusing to endorse their political program, saying “I don’t think Jesus or the Apostles took sides in the political arenas of their day.” Graham’s career has helped to frame the ongoing debate about the role religion should play in public life.