Billy Graham U.S. evangelist Billy Graham, who dedicated 70 years of his life to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ has died (earlier today) at the age of 99.

Graham died at 8 a.m. EST (1300 GMT) at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, according to Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

He was widely regarded as the most influential preacher of the 20th century. He held large indoor and outdoor rallies; sermons were broadcast on radio and television, some still being re-broadcast into the 21st century.

In his six decades of television, Graham was principally known for hosting the annual Billy Graham Crusades, which he began in 1947, until he concluded in 2005, at the time of his retirement. He also hosted the popular radio show Hour of Decision from 1950 to 1954. He repudiated segregation and, in addition to his religious aims, helped shape the worldview of a huge number of people coming from different backgrounds leading them to find a relationship between the Bible and contemporary secular viewpoints.

Graham preached to live audiences of nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories through various meetings, including BMS World Mission and Global Mission. He also reached hundreds of millions more through television, video, film, and webcasts.