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'Billy Graham' Documentary on PBS May 17

The newest installment of the American Experience series on PBS is the documentary on religious leader and spiritual advisor, Billy Graham. Graham is described as "one of the most influential religious leaders of the 20th Century,” according to a release from PBS. The film airs Monday, May 17 at 9 p.m. on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video App.

Billy Graham (left) with President Dwight D. Eisenhower, both holding the same Bible. 1957

Billy Graham (left) with President Dwight D. Eisenhower, both holding the same Bible. 1957 (Image credit: Courtesy of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

Graham was born in 1918 in Charlotte, North Carolina in a Presbyterian family, he began preaching in college in a small Florida town and later went on to perform for larger audiences in Los Angeles, New York and to the U.K. He became spiritual advisors for Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon during their presidential campaigns and promoted an "anti-Communist" message. Graham died in 2018 at the age of 99.

“Billy Graham profoundly changed our nation and, through his extraordinary powers of communication, rose to the highest heights of international fame as well,” said Cameo George, American Experience executive producer. “Before Billy Graham, it was not commonplace for presidents of the United States to hold prayer breakfasts and publicly meet with religious leaders. That’s all a direct result of Graham’s mission and strategy. He became a catalyst for the whole evangelical movement.”

Billy Graham is directed by Sarah Colt, produced by Helen Dobrowski and executive produced by Cameo George.