State News

Billy Graham turns 90, celebrates with family

Posted November 7, 2008 4:03 a.m. EST
Updated November 7, 2008 12:17 p.m. EST

Evangelist Billy Graham died on Feb. 21 at the age of 99.

— Aging evangelist Billy Graham is 90 years old, and he planned to celebrate his birthday Friday with a private party among family members with some North Carolina barbecue.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has gathered messages, greetings and stories from supporters to present to Graham as he celebrates.

Graham's health has declined in recent years, and he spends much of his time secluded at his mountainside home in Montreat.

The globe-trotting evangelist and past adviser to several presidents was hospitalized last month after tripping over his dog, and at other times has been treated for fluid on the brain, prostate cancer and macular degeneration.

Graham's wife, Ruth, died last year.

Franklin Graham said Friday that his father is praying for President-elect Obama.

The two had tried to meet in the midst of the White House campaign but were unable to connect because of Billy Graham's fragile health.

Billy Graham has provided advice to every president since Eisenhower.

He hopes to meet someday with Obama, but Franklin Graham said his father feels that his time as an active counselor to the nation's leader is over.

Billy Graham is a registered Democrat, but has never been overtly partisan in his preaching.