billy graham family tree

Billy Graham Family Tree

Discover the captivating lineage of the legendary evangelist, Billy Graham, as we unveil the fascinating details of his remarkable family tree.

With our expertise in this topic, we delve into the early life of Billy Graham, unraveling the stories of his parents, siblings, spouse, and children.

As we navigate through the branches of their ancestry, we also shed light on the profound impact that Graham’s ministry and evangelism has had on countless lives.

Join us on this enlightening journey as we uncover the cherished legacy and explore the well-deserved accolades that adorned the illustrious career of Billy Graham.

Key Takeaways

  • Billy Graham’s family consists of his wife, Ruth Bell Graham, his four children (Virginia Leftwich, Anne Graham Lotz, Ruth Graham, Franklin Graham), and numerous grandchildren.
  • Graham’s parents were Nelson Edman Graham and Morrow Coffey, and his siblings were Melvin, Jean, and Catherine.
  • Graham grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, on a dairy farm, and his interest in religious life began when he attended revival meetings.
  • Graham married Ruth Bell Graham in 1943, and they had five children together. Ruth played a significant role in supporting Graham’s ministry and guiding their family.

Overview of Billy Graham’s Family

Billy Graham’s family consists of a close-knit unit of five, including his wife, four children, and numerous grandchildren. William Franklin Graham Jr., better known as Billy Graham, was a renowned American evangelist and preacher. Born on November 7, 1918, in Charlotte, North Carolina, Graham’s family tree extends to his wife, Ruth Bell Graham, whom he married in 1943. Together, they had five children, including their daughter Anne Graham Lotz, who is also involved in religious life.

Graham’s father, Nelson Edman Graham, was a dairy farmer, and his mother, Morrow Coffey, was a homemaker. Throughout his career, Graham held various prominent positions, including the founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the Billy Graham Center. Today, his legacy lives on through his family and the impact he made on millions of lives worldwide.

Visitors can learn more about his life and work at the Billy Graham Library.

Early Life

During his early years, Billy Graham experienced a humble upbringing in Charlotte, North Carolina, under the care and guidance of his dairy farmer father, Nelson Edman Graham, and homemaker mother, Morrow Coffey.

Growing up on the family dairy farm, Graham learned the values of hard work, perseverance, and faith.

His interest in religious life began when his father forced him to attend a series of revival meetings. In response to the invitation to accept Jesus Christ as his savior, Graham responded and embarked on a spiritual journey that would shape his life and career.

Graham later attended Dwight Integration, where he met his future wife, Ruth Bell.

As a young man, Billy Graham was invited to serve as the spiritual adviser to President Eisenhower.

Throughout his life, Graham remained dedicated to his faith and the principles he believed in.

Graham died on February 21, 2018, leaving behind a legacy of faith and inspiration.


Nelson Edman Graham and Morrow Coffey played pivotal roles in shaping the early life and religious journey of Billy Graham. Nelson, a farmer and entrepreneur, and Morrow, a homemaker, raised Billy in a Christian household in Charlotte, North Carolina. Their strong faith and commitment to God laid the foundation for Billy’s own spiritual journey.

Here is a table showcasing key information about Nelson and Morrow Graham:

NameOccupationContribution to Billy’s Life
NelsonFarmer, EntrepreneurInstilled strong faith
MorrowHomemakerNurtured Christian upbringing

Their guidance and support played a significant role in Billy’s decision to dedicate his life to preaching the Gospel. Billy often spoke about the impact his parents had on his religious life, and their influence can be seen in his crusades, where he invited people of all backgrounds to accept Jesus Christ. Today, their legacy lives on through the Billy Graham Library and the Billy Graham Memorial Park, where Billy Graham is buried alongside his parents.


Billy Graham had siblings who played a significant role in shaping his life and ministry. Born on November 7, 1918, in Charlotte, North Carolina, Graham was the eldest of four children. His siblings were Melvin, Jean, and Catherine.

Growing up in a devout Christian family, Graham’s parents, William and Morrow Graham, instilled in their children a strong faith and a commitment to serving God. Melvin, the second-born, became a pastor and served as an inspiration to Billy in his early years. Jean, the third-born, also had a deep faith and was a source of support for her brother throughout his career. Catherine, the youngest, was known for her kindness and generosity.

Together, these siblings formed a close-knit family that influenced Billy Graham’s journey as a renowned evangelist and preacher.


After his upbringing in a close-knit family, Billy Graham formed a lifelong partnership when he married his wife, Ruth Bell Graham.

Ruth, born on June 10, 1920, in Qingjiang, Jiangsu, China, was the daughter of medical missionaries.

The marriage of Billy and Ruth Graham was a strong and steadfast union, lasting for 64 years until Ruth’s passing in 2007. Together, they had five children: Virginia Leftwich, Anne Graham Lotz, Ruth Graham, Franklin Graham, and Nelson Edman Graham.

Ruth played a significant role in Billy Graham’s ministry, supporting him in his endeavors and providing guidance and love to their family.

Ruth Bell Graham was a remarkable woman who left a lasting impact on the Graham family tree and the legacy of Billy Graham’s ministry.


The children of Billy and Ruth Graham, Virginia Leftwich, Anne Graham Lotz, Ruth Graham, Franklin Graham, and Nelson Edman Graham, played a significant role in the Graham family tree and the legacy of Billy Graham’s ministry.

Growing up in a household dedicated to faith, they were exposed to their father’s influential work from an early age. As adults, they each found their own paths within the religious life.

Virginia became involved in her father’s crusades, extending invitations to attendees to respond to the message.

Anne followed in her father’s footsteps, becoming a renowned speaker and author.

Ruth focused on integration efforts and revivals, while Franklin became the leader of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Nelson served as a spiritual advisor and played a vital role in the establishment of the Billy Graham Civic Auditorium.

Together, they have continued their father’s legacy, overseeing the Billy Graham Library and participating in his burial and funeral.

Their relationship with their father and his ambassadorship of ecumenism, including his close friendship with Martin Luther King Jr., have left a lasting impact on the world.


Continuing the discussion from the previous subtopic, the legacy of the Graham family is deeply rooted in their influential contributions to the world of faith and evangelism.

The Graham family’s impact can be seen through various aspects of their lives and work:

  • The Billy Graham Crusades: Billy Graham’s invitation for people to respond to the message of Christ led to millions of conversions and transformed the lives of countless individuals.
  • Integration of Civic and Religious Life: Graham was instrumental in bridging the gap between faith and public life, serving as a spiritual adviser to several U.S. presidents and playing a key role in the civil rights movement.
  • The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: Through its series of revivals and the establishment of the Billy Graham Civic Auditorium, the association continues to spread the gospel nationally and globally.
  • Humanitarian Work: The Graham family’s commitment to social issues is evident in initiatives such as the Billy Graham Children’s Health Center and their involvement in various charitable organizations.

These contributions, along with their publishing history and close relationship with figures like Martin Luther King Jr., have solidified the Graham family’s legacy as influential leaders in the world of faith and evangelism.

Ministry and Evangelism

Billy Graham’s family tree boasts a rich history of ministry and evangelism, characterized by their unwavering commitment to spreading the message of Christ. Billy Graham himself was influenced by his father, William Franklin Graham Sr., who was a successful dairy farmer and a lay preacher.

Billy Graham’s religious life began when he attended a series of revival meetings led by evangelist Mordecai Ham, where he responded to the invitation to accept Christ as his Savior. Graham went on to become a prominent figure in the evangelistic movement, holding a series of national and international crusades that drew thousands of people. He refused to integrate his revivals until 1953, when he held integrated meetings at the Civic Auditorium in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Graham became a spiritual adviser to multiple U.S. presidents and established a close relationship with Dwight D. Eisenhower, who asked Graham to officiate at his funeral. Graham’s ministry extended beyond evangelism, as he also established the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, and served as a spiritual adviser to many world leaders.

His burial site, located at the Billy Graham Library, serves as a final testament to his lifelong commitment to ministry and evangelism.

Awards and Recognitions

Graham’s notable contributions to ministry and evangelism have earned him numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career. These accolades are a testament to his dedication and impact on the religious landscape.

Here are some of the awards and recognitions Billy Graham has received:

  • Presidential Medal of Freedom: Graham was awarded this highest civilian honor by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 for his contributions to society and his commitment to spreading the Gospel.
  • Templeton Prize: In 1982, Graham became the first clergyman to receive this prestigious award, which recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.
  • Congressional Gold Medal: In 1996, Graham was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest civilian awards in the United States, in recognition of his lifelong service to the nation.
  • Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire: Queen Elizabeth II bestowed this honor upon Graham in 2001 for his outstanding contributions to the Christian faith.

These awards and recognitions highlight Billy Graham’s significant impact on both religious and secular spheres and serve as a testament to his lasting legacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Was Billy Graham’s Favorite Childhood Memory?

Billy Graham’s favorite childhood memory is a personal and subjective matter that may not be publicly known or documented. However, understanding the significance of childhood memories in shaping an individual’s character and values is crucial.

Did Any of Billy Graham’s Siblings Follow in His Footsteps and Become Ministers?

Yes, some of Billy Graham’s siblings did follow in his footsteps and become ministers. These individuals were also influenced by their father’s ministry and played significant roles in spreading the Christian faith.

How Did Billy Graham’s Parents Meet and Fall in Love?

Billy Graham’s parents, William Franklin Graham Sr. and Morrow Coffey Graham, met and fell in love in Charlotte, North Carolina. The exact details of their meeting and courtship are not publicly documented.

What Was Billy Graham’s Relationship Like With His Children?

Billy Graham’s relationship with his children was characterized by love, support, and strong family values. He prioritized spending time with them, instilling in them his faith and teachings, and they continued to be involved in his ministry as adults.

What Impact Did Billy Graham’s Ministry Have on His Grandchildren?

Billy Graham’s ministry had a significant impact on his grandchildren. Through his teachings and example, he instilled in them a strong faith and a passion for spreading the gospel, inspiring them to continue his legacy in their own ways.

Q: Who is Billy Graham?

A: Billy Graham was an American evangelist and Christian leader who is widely regarded as one of the most influential preachers of the 20th century.

Q: What is the Billy Graham Family Tree?

A: The Billy Graham Family Tree refers to the genealogy of the Graham family, including Billy Graham and his descendants.

Q: What is the connection between Billy Graham and his family?

A: Billy Graham was married to Ruth Graham and they had five children together. He also had many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Q: Can you tell me more about William Franklin Graham?

A: William Franklin Graham, commonly known as Billy Frank, was the eldest son of Billy Graham and served as the CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Q: Were there any famous events involving Billy Graham?

A: Yes, Billy Graham held numerous crusades and evangelistic meetings, with one of the most famous being the invitation at Billy Graham Crusades.

Q: What awards or recognitions did Billy Graham receive?

A: Billy Graham received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his life, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

Q: Did Billy Graham have any notable relationships?

A: Billy Graham was particularly close to Dwight D. Eisenhower and served as his spiritual advisor. He also had a close relationship with many other political leaders and celebrities.

Q: Was Billy Graham involved in any social issues?

A: Yes, Billy Graham was an advocate for racial integration for his revivals and played a significant role in promoting racial reconciliation in the United States.

Q: Can you provide information about the Billy Graham Community Life Commons?

A: The Billy Graham Community Life Commons is a facility located in Charlotte, North Carolina, named in honor of Billy Graham. It serves as a gathering place for community events and activities.

Q: What is the Billy Graham Rule?

A: The Billy Graham Rule refers to a personal conduct guideline that Billy Graham followed, which stated that he would never be alone with a woman who was not his wife.


In conclusion, Billy Graham’s family tree is an important aspect of his life and legacy. From his parents and siblings to his spouse and children, his family played a significant role in shaping his character and supporting his ministry.

Billy Graham’s dedication to ministry and evangelism earned him numerous awards and recognitions throughout his lifetime. His impact on the world of Christianity and his ability to reach millions through his preaching continue to be felt even after his passing.