Billy Graham hospitalized for "respiratory congestion"

By: CBS -- (posted by Greg Palmer)
By: CBS -- (posted by Greg Palmer)

CBS The Rev. Billy Graham has been hospitalized with "a respiratory congestion issue," a spokesman said Wednesday.

Spokesman Mark DeMoss said in a statement to CBS News that Graham experienced a similar condition a few weeks ago.

"As was the case then, we expect he will be able to return home in a day or two," DeMoss said.

Earlier this month, Graham celebrated his 95th birthday, choosing the occasion to preach what many called his final sermon.

The man best known for traditional orations delivered his last message in a very modern way. Graham's "sermon" was a highly produced, 30-minute film called "The Cross."

His family debuted the film at Graham's birthday celebration in North Carolina, where hundreds of well-wishers turned out to celebrate the minister. Guests included Donald Trump and Kathy Lee Gifford. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin shared a moment about how Graham touched her life.

"If it weren't for Rev. Graham, I don't know where I would be," she said.

Graham rose to prominence as a great orator. In 1957, more than 100,000 people filled Yankee Stadium to hear him speak. At the time, it was the largest crowd the stadium had ever held. Audiences as small as one were captivated by Graham's presence. He was close with several presidents, from Richard Nixon to George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton.

But it was his presence on radio and television that grew Graham's flock. Millions tuned into his special programs.

Graham's sermon was broadcast in churches around the country and could be seen by audiences at home.


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