William Franklin "Billy" Graham, Jr.(born November 7, 1918) is an American evangelical Christian evangelist. As of April 25, 2010, when he met with Barack Obama, Graham has spent personal time with twelve United States Presidents dating back to Harry S. Truman, and is number seven on Gallup's list of admired people for the 20th century. He is a Southern Baptist. He rose to celebrity status as his sermons were broadcast on radio and television.
It is said that Graham has preached the Gospel in person to more people than any other person in history. According to his staff, as of 1993 more than 2.5 million people have "stepped forward at his crusades to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior", many to the altar call song "Just As I Am". As of 2008, Graham's lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, topped 2.2 billion.
He was born November 7, 1918 to William Franklin Graham I (1888–1962) and Morrow Coffey (1892–1981), on a dairy farm near Charlotte, North Carolina. Graham was raised in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church by his parents. In 1933, when Prohibition in the United States ended, Graham's father forced Graham and his sister Katherine to drink beer until they vomited, which created an aversion, in both of them, to alcohol and drugs. According to the Billy Graham Center, Graham was converted in 1934 at age 16 during a series of revival meetings in Charlotte which were led by evangelist Mordecai Ham. However, he was turned down for membership in a local youth group because he was "too worldly". He was persuaded to go see Ham at the urging of one of the employees, Albert McMakin, on the Graham farm.