Billy Graham preaches at the Miami Beach Exhibition Hall in March 1961

THE 10-CAR MOTORCADE CARRYING THE BODY OF America’s most famous evangelist wound its way 130 miles through North Carolina. Down mountain roads and interstates, the cortege passed thousands of men and women who raised Bibles and American flags in tribute. Pallbearers carried the pine plywood casket into his family library in Charlotte, where former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton arrived to pay their respects. Then Billy Graham flew one last time to Washington, to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol’s Rotunda, a recognition usually reserved for Presidents.

Graham’s final journey befitted his legend. A humble, golden-haired farm boy once felt a call from heaven, and left home to tell the world. He became one of the most charismatic figures of the 20th century, a confidant to Democratic and Republican Presidents alike. More than 215 million people over six decades flocked to hear him preach forgiveness in

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