Rev. Billy Graham celebrates his 99th birthday!

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Rev. Billy Graham
Rev. Billy Graham

MONTREAT, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The Reverend Billy Graham is celebrating his 99th birthday today!

Graham is expected to share the day with family and friends at his home in Montreat, but people can still share their well wishes.

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William "Billy" Graham at age 17 on his graduation from Charlotte High School in June 1935.

The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte is slated to host a special birthday celebration.

    Here are nine things to know about one of America's most famous religious figures:
  • Born November 7, 1918, in Charlotte, the first of four children raised on the family's dairy farm
  • His 1949 Los Angeles Crusade -- scheduled for three weeks, but lasting more than eight -- thrust him into the national spotlight
  • Began his weekly "Hour of Decision" radio program in 1950, which was heard around the world for more than six decades
  • Made history in the early 1950s by demanding that the ropes separating the races at one of his Crusades in the South be taken down
  • His 1957 New York City Crusade -- scheduled for six weeks but lasting for sixteen -- is said to have reached more than two million people
  • Took the stage at Madison Square Garden alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during his 1957 New York crusade and called for an end to segregation
  • In 1999, became the first non-musician to be inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame
  • Has preached the Christian message to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history-- nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories
  • Will celebrate his birthday today with one of his favorite desserts: lemon cake with lard icing

RELATED: A look back at the Billy Graham exhibit in Raleigh