Billy Graham was hospitalized after his 95th birthday celebration for observation and lung tests in November 2013, and has been very weak since then. His son Franklin Graham has given some updates on the evangelist's health.
"He's very weak," Franklin Graham told NBC in an interview. "He's 96 years of age so he doesn't have a lot of stamina and he doesn't carry on long conversations, but his mind is still clear and we're thankful for that."
"My father is ready to go to Heaven and whenever that day comes, he's ready," Franklin Graham said last January. "He's worked hard all of his life and faithful to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ his entire life. And so he's ready to go home and I'm praying that the Lord will leave him a little longer. We need him."
Graham was a spiritual adviser to several Presidents; he was particularly close to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson (who was considered to be one of Graham's closest friends) and Richard Nixon. He insisted on integration for his revivals and crusades in 1953 and invited Martin Luther King, Jr. to preach jointly at a revival in New York City in 1957. Graham bailed King out of jail in the 1960s when King was arrested in demonstrations.
Graham operates a variety of media and publishing outlets. According to his staff, more than 3.2 million people have responded to the invitation at Billy Graham Crusades to "accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior". As of 2008, Graham's estimated lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, topped 2.2 billion.