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A visual history of Billy Graham’s power through twelve presidential administrations

Reuters/Chris Keane
A man for all presidents.
By Johnny Simon
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Billy Graham, the evangelical preacher who died today (Feb. 21) at 99, held an unrivaled role for a religious figure in US public life. His interpretation of the Bible, delivered with signature intensity, earned Graham an audience of hundreds of millions around the world—including in the White House.

Since the 1950s, Graham was a frequent guest of numerous US presidents on both sides of the political spectrum. Photos of Graham’s encounters with presidents current and former, whether on a casual outing or a formal photo op, highlight the importance that US presidents have placed on religion in public life.

Harry Truman, 1950

AP Photo
Evangelist Billy Graham, second from right, kneels in prayer for President Truman on the White House Lawn on July 14,1950. Graham had just finished a meeting with the president.

Dwight Eisenhower, 1957

AP Photo
Evangelist Billy Graham, right, talks with US president Dwight Eisenhower during a visit at the White House in Washington, D.C. on May 10, 1957.

John F. Kennedy, 1961

AP Photo
Evangelist Billy Graham, left, talks with president John F. Kennedy at the White House on Dec. 12, 1961.

Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964

AP Photo
Evangelist Billy Graham and president Lyndon B. Johnson share a lighter moment as they leave National City Christian Church August 23, 1964 in Washington, D.C.

Richard Nixon, 1971

AP Photo
President Richard Nixon and Evangelist Billy Graham wave to cheering crowds in Charlotte, North Carolina on Oct. 15, 1971.

Gerald Ford, 1974

AP Photo
Vice President Gerald Ford, left, and evangelist Billy Graham talk before the start of their round of golf on May 29, 1974, in the Pro-Am at the Kemper Open in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Jimmy Carter, 1979

AP Photo
President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter are applauded by the Rev. Billy Graham, left, as they arrive for the National Prayer Breakfast at a Washington hotel, Jan. 18, 1979.

Ronald Reagan, 1981

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
The Rev. Billy Graham, center, chats with President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan at the White House on July 18, 1981.

George H.W. Bush, 1991

AP Photo/Ron Edmonds
President George Bush is accompanied by Evangelist Billy Graham after attending a nondenominational church service at the Fort Myers, Virginia  on Jan. 17, 1991.

Bill Clinton, 1995

AP Photo/Doug Mills
President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton, right along with others, bow their heads as Rev. Billy Graham, second from left, speaks during the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington Thursday on Feb. 2, 1995.

George W. Bush, 2010

(AP Photo/Nell Redmond
Former President George W. Bush, left, greets evangelist Billy Graham as Laura Bush looks on as they met for a brunch prior to a book signing at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte on Dec. 20, 2010.

Barack Obama, 2010

Pete Souza/Official White House Photo via AP
In this image released by the White House, president Barack Obama meets with Billy Graham, 91, at his mountainside home in Montreat, North Carolina on April 25, 2010.

Former President Jimmy Carter issued a statement following his death.

Rosalynn and I are deeply saddened to learn of the death of The Reverend Billy Graham. Tirelessly spreading a message of fellowship and hope, he shaped the spiritual lives of tens of millions of people worldwide. Broad-minded, forgiving, and humble in his treatment of others, he exemplified the life of Jesus Christ by constantly reaching out for opportunities to serve.

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