Graham was raised on a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1943 he married Ruth McCue Bell, daughter of a Christian missionary surgeon in China. On June 14, 2007, Billy Graham said goodbye to his beloved wife, who passed away at age 87. He and Ruth had three daughters (including Anne Graham Lotz, Christian author and speaker), two sons (including Franklin Graham, who now runs his association), 19 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren.
"Every day is a gift from God, no matter how old we are," Graham said in a press release. "I have discovered that just because we grow weaker physically as we age, it doesn't mean that we must grow weaker spiritually. In fact, we ought to be growing stronger spiritually because our eyes ought to be on eternity and Heaven--on the things that really matter."
Graham's latest book, Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well, examines the topics of old age and dying. He wrote it to encourage people, especially the aging, to live with purpose, grace and a commitment to finishing well.
As his focus turns more and more toward heaven and his eternal home, Graham's heart is filled with gratitude for all that God has done in and through his long life. In an excerpt from his autobiography, Just As I Am, he writes, "As I look back over the years, however, I know that my deepest feeling is one of overwhelming gratitude. I cannot take credit for whatever God has chosen to accomplish through us and our ministry; only God deserves the glory, and we can never thank Him enough for the great things He has done."
As a way of honoring this remarkable man and celebrating his 93rd birthday, Billy's son Franklin is asking anyone who has been touched by Graham's ministry to share their story and a birthday wish. To send Billy Graham a birthday message, visit this page.
• Read: A Biography of Billy Graham