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Ten Memorable Viral Videos of 2012

Here are 10 videos that were shared more than most others this year.

 

 

No. 10: A surprising opera performance that shocked Simon Cowell

 

 

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News

  • A 6-year-old boy who has two broken legs after a weekend hit-and-run near Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is out of surgery and recovering, his father said Wednesday. “All went well with his surgery and he is now on the road to recovery,” Jason Ford said in a Facebook post. “Thank everyone for your prayers, thoughts, and positive energy.” Authorities are seeking the driver who hit Jack Ford in a crosswalk near the park Sunday evening, then ran from the scene, Cobb County police said. “I want the guy off the street because I don’t want him to hurt anyone else,” Jason Ford told Channel 2 Action News. The boy was crossing Burnt Hickory Road at Old Mountain Road with family when he was hit, police spokesman Wayne Delk said. “A blue 2008 Chevrolet Impala, traveling west on Burnt Hickory Road, improperly passed the stopped traffic and drove on the wrong side of the roadway and struck the victim in the crosswalk,” Delk said. MORE: Atlanta crime news The car then went into a parking lot, where it crashed into an unoccupied vehicle. “I was just so thankful when he opened his eyes and I knew he was alive,” said Sherry Jones, who witnessed the incident. The driver was gone when police arrived, though the three passengers remained on the scene, according to Delk.  The driver, who has not been identified, is described as 18 to 27 years old, with short dreadlocks, police said. The passengers said the driver is known to them as “Moonie.” One of the passengers, identified as 20-year-old Brian Locklin, was arrested on a probation violation warrant out of Fayette County, according to Channel 2. Jason Ford told the news station that a medical student who was nearby ran to help at the scene. Ford said first responders were there within minutes. He said he expects his son to be able to go home Thursday. The boy recently lost his mother to cancer, Channel 2 reported. “God, and his mother, definitely had a protective bubble around him,” Jason Ford posted on Facebook. Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to contact Cobb police at 770-499-3987. Know what’s really going on with crime and public safety in your metro Atlanta community, including breaking news, trial coverage, trends and the latest on unsolved cases. Sign up for the AJC’s crime and safety newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.  In other news:
  • Latest updates, results, photo galleries and stories from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
  • As a young man, he practiced his sermons by preaching to the alligators and birds in the swamp. At his height years later, he was bringing the word of God into living rooms around the globe via TV and dispensing spiritual counsel — and political advice — to U.S. presidents. The Rev. Billy Graham, dubbed 'America's Pastor' and the 'Protestant Pope,' died Wednesday at his North Carolina home at age 99 after achieving a level of influence and reach no other evangelist is likely ever to match. More than anyone else, the magnetic, Hollywood-handsome Graham built evangelicalism into a force that rivaled liberal Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in the United States. The North Carolina-born Graham transformed the tent revival into an event that filled football arenas, and reached the masses by making pioneering use of television in prosperous postwar America. By his final crusade in 2005, he had preached in person to more than 210 million people worldwide. All told, he was the most widely heard Christian evangelist in modern history. 'Graham is a major historical figure, not merely to American evangelicals, but to American Christianity in general,' said Bill Leonard, a professor at Wake Forest University Divinity School in North Carolina. Graham was 'the closest thing to a national Protestant chaplain that the U.S. has ever had.' A tall figure with swept-back hair, blue eyes and a strong jaw, Graham was a commanding presence in the pulpit with a powerful baritone voice. His catchphrase: 'The Bible says ...' Despite his international renown, he would be the first to say his message was not complex or unique. But he won over audiences with his friendliness, humility and unyielding religious conviction. He had an especially strong influence on the religion and spirituality of American presidents, starting with Dwight Eisenhower. George W. Bush credited Graham with helping him transform himself from carousing, hard-drinking oilman to born-again Christian family man. His influence reached beyond the White House. He delivered poignant remarks about the nation's wounds in the aftermath of Sept. 11 during a message from Washington National Cathedral three days after the attacks. He met with boxer Muhammad Ali in 1979 to talk about religion. He showed up in hurricane-ravaged South Carolina in the 1980s and delivered impromptu sermons from the back of a pickup truck to weary storm victims. In the political arena, his organization took out full-page ads in support of a ballot measure that would ban gay marriage. Critics blasted Graham on social media on Wednesday for his stance on gay rights. Graham wasn't always a polished presence in the pulpit. After World War II, as an evangelist in the U.S. and Europe with Youth for Christ, he was dubbed 'the Preaching Windmill' for his arm-swinging and rapid-fire speech. His first meeting with a U.S. president, Harry Truman, was a disaster. Wearing a pastel suit and loud tie that he would later say made him look like a vaudeville performer, the preacher, unfamiliar with protocol, told reporters what he had discussed with Truman, then posed for photos. But those were early stumbles on his path to fame and influence. His first White House visit with Lyndon Johnson, scheduled to last only minutes, stretched to several hours. He urged Gerald Ford to pardon Richard Nixon and supported Jimmy Carter on the SALT disarmament treaty. He stayed at the White House with George H.W. Bush on the eve of the first Persian Gulf War. His presidential ties proved problematic when his close friend Nixon resigned in the Watergate scandal in 1974, leaving Graham devastated, embarrassed and baffled. Later, tapes released in 2002 caught the preacher telling Nixon that Jews 'don't know how I really feel about what they're doing to this country.' Graham apologized, saying he didn't recall ever having such feelings. He asked the Jewish community to consider his actions instead of his words. At the height of his career, he would be on the road for months at a time. The strain of so much preaching caused the already trim Graham to lose as much as 30 pounds by the time one of his crusades ended. His wife, Ruth, mostly stayed behind at their mountainside home in Montreat to raise their five children: Franklin, Virginia ('Gigi'), Anne, Ruth and Nelson ('Ned'). Ruth sometimes grew so lonely when Billy was traveling that she slept with his tweed jacket for comfort. But she said, 'I'd rather have a little of Bill than a lot of any other man.' Beyond Graham's TV appearances and speaking engagements, he reached multitudes through network radio, including 'The Hour of Decision,' film and newspapers. One of Graham's breakthrough films was 'The Restless Ones,' made in the 1960s, about morally adrift teens in Southern California who found the strength to withstand temptation after attending a Billy Graham crusade. In the 1950s he created a syndicated newspaper column, 'My Answer,' which at its height reached tens of millions of readers. Early on, he took up the cause of fighting communism, preaching against its atheistic evils. But he was much less robust in his support for civil rights and did not join his fellow clergymen in the movement's marches, a position he later said he regretted. 'I think I made a mistake when I didn't go to Selma' to join the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., he said in a 2005 interview. 'I would like to have done more.' Still, Graham ended racially segregated seating at his Southern crusades in 1953, a year before the Supreme Court's school integration ruling, and long refused to visit South Africa while its white regime insisted on separating the races at meetings. Graham's integrity lifted him through the dark days of the late 1980s, after scandals befell TV preachers Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. Graham had resolved early on never to be alone with a woman other than his wife. Instead of taking a share of the offerings at his crusades, he drew a modest salary from his ministry, which was governed by an independent board, instead of by friends and relatives. 'Why, I could make a quarter of a million dollars a year in this field or in Hollywood if I wanted to,' Graham once said. 'The offers I've had from Hollywood studios are amazing. But I just laughed. I told them I was staying with God.' Later in his career, Graham visited communist Eastern Europe. Increasingly, he appealed for world peace. William Franklin Graham Jr. was born on Nov. 7, 1918, on a rural dairy farm near Charlotte. His path began taking shape at age 16, when the Presbyterian-reared teenager committed himself to Christ at a tent revival. After high school, he enrolled at the fundamentalist Bob Jones College, then transferred to Florida Bible Institute in Tampa. There, he practiced his sermonizing in a swamp. He still wasn't convinced he should be a preacher until a soul-searching, late-night ramble on a golf course. 'I finally gave in while pacing at midnight on the 18th hole,' he said. ''All right, Lord,' I said, 'If you want me, you've got me.'' A 1949 Los Angeles revival in a tent dubbed the 'Canvas Cathedral' turned Graham into evangelism's rising star. Legendary publisher William Randolph Hearst had ordered his papers to hype Graham, though the evangelist said he never learned why. He later embarked on expectation-defying crusades in London and New York, soon becoming a global voice for Christianity. Health problems gradually slowed Graham. In 1995 his son William Franklin Graham III, then 43, was designated the ministry's leader. Billy Graham's wife died in 2007 at age 87. Graham will be buried next to her at the Billy Graham Museum and Library in Charlotte. There was no immediate word on other funeral arrangements. ___ Online: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: http://www.billygraham.org Billy Graham Center archives: http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/archhp1.html ___ Zoll reported from New York. Retired Associated Press Religion Writer Richard N. Ostling contributed to this report.
  • A Republican congresswoman from upstate New York said Wednesday that 'many' people who commit mass murder turn out to be Democrats. U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney made the remarks on Talk 1300 Radio during a discussion about calls for stricter gun control since last week's deadly Florida high school shooting. 'Yeah, well, obviously there is a lot of politics in it, and it's interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats, but the media doesn't talk about that either,' Tenney told talk show host Fred Dicker. Tenney did not offer any evidence to support that statement. Democratic state Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, who is opposing Tenney this fall, called her comments 'disgusting' and 'toxic' and urged her to apologize. Evan Lukaske, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Tenney demonstrated 'how completely unfit she is to serve in Congress.' In a statement Wednesday night, Tenney said her comments were taken out of context. 'I am fed up with the media and liberals attempting to politicize tragedies and demonize law-abiding gun owners and conservative Americans every time there is a horrible tragedy,' she said. 'While we know the perpetrators of these atrocities have a wide variety of political views, my comments are in response to a question about the failure to prosecute illegal gun crime. I will continue to stand up for law-abiding citizens who are smeared by anti-gun liberal elitists.' Tenney was first elected in 2016. Her district covers a large swath of central New York including the cities of Binghamton, Utica and Rome.
  • Leaders expressed admiration and respect for evangelist Billy Graham, who died at his North Carolina home Wednesday morning. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP In a tweet, President Donald Trump said: 'The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man.' ___ VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE 'Billy Graham's ministry for the gospel of Jesus Christ and his matchless voice changed the lives of millions,' Pence tweeted. 'We mourn his passing but I know with absolute certainty that today he heard those words, 'well done good and faithful servant.'' ___ FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA 'Billy Graham was a humble servant who prayed for so many — and who, with wisdom and grace, gave hope and guidance to generations of Americans.' ___ FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH 'Billy Graham was a consequential leader. He had a powerful, captivating presence and a keen mind. He was full of kindness and grace. His love for Christ and his gentle soul helped open hearts to the Word, including mine. Laura and I are thankful for the life of Billy Graham, and we send our heartfelt condolences to the Graham family.' ___ FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER 'Rosalynn and I are deeply saddened to learn of the death of The Reverend Billy Graham,' Carter said in a statement. 'Tirelessly spreading a message of fellowship and hope, he shaped the spiritual lives of tens of millions of people worldwide. Broad-minded, forgiving, and humble in his treatment of others, he exemplified the life of Jesus Christ by constantly reaching out for opportunities to serve.' ___ FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH 'Billy Graham was America's pastor. His faith in Christ and his totally honest evangelical spirit inspired people across the country and around the world. I think Billy touched the hearts of not only Christians, but people of all faiths, because he was such a good man. I was privileged to have him as a personal friend. ... He was a mentor to several of my children, including the former president of the United States. We will miss our good friend forever.' ___ FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON In a statement, Clinton said he and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are saddened by Graham's death. 'I will never forget the first time I saw him, 60 years ago in Little Rock, during the school integration struggle. He filled a football stadium with a fully integrated audience, reminding them that we all come before God as equals, both in our imperfection and our absolute claim to amazing grace. ... Billy has finished his long good race, leaving our world a better place and claiming his place in glory.' ___ HOUSE SPEAKER PAUL RYAN Ryan issued a statement that said, in part, 'As soaring a figure as he was, Rev. Graham connected with people on an elemental level. His reach was rooted in decency, humility, and love. He set a tone of ecumenical inclusion, advocated civil rights, and refused to accept the segregation of those attending his crusades. Rev. Graham's service is a testament that, with faith in God, one person can do so much good for the world.' ___ NORTH CAROLINA GOV. ROY COOPER 'Billy Graham was a strong, humble, positive and passionate North Carolina man of faith who made a difference in the lives of so many. Rest with God, Reverend Graham.' ___ SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM 'One of the greatest messengers of Christ has gone to his heavenly reward,' Sen. Graham wrote in a tweet. 'Dr. Graham spread the good news to millions across the world and led a life beyond reproach.' ___ FRANKLIN GRAHAM The evangelist's son, who is now president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, tweeted: 'My father ... was once asked, 'Where is Heaven?' He said, 'Heaven is where Jesus is and I am going to Him soon!' This morning, he departed this world into eternal life in Heaven, prepared by the Lord Jesus Christ_the Savior of the world_whom he proclaimed for 80 years.' ___ ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ In an online post titled 'Daddy is at Home,' Graham's daughter Anne Graham Lotz said she did not think of him as a public figure. 'I think of my Daddy. The one who was always a farmer at heart,' she wrote. 'Who loved his dogs and his cat. Who followed the weather patterns almost as closely as he did world events. Who wore old blue jeans, comfortable sweaters, and a baseball cap. Who loved lukewarm coffee, sweet ice tea, one scoop of ice cream, and a plain hamburger from McDonald's. Who was interested in everything and everyone, from the small to the great.' ___ MIKE HUCKABEE The former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate said in a statement, 'When the news broke that Billy Graham had died, my first reaction was 'there's a real example of 'Fake News.'' Billy Graham has passed from this life for sure at the age of 99, but he is anything but dead. He is more alive now than ever before, and living a life that will never end.' ___ NORTH CAROLINA SEN. RICHARD BURR 'I was incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Reverend Billy Graham this morning. America's Pastor was an inspiration to millions of Christians in our country and across the world. While his humility, faith, and booming voice will be sorely missed, today, he is at peace with God.' ___ ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY JUSTIN WELBY 'The debt owed by the global church to him is immeasurable and inexpressible. Personally I am profoundly grateful to God for the life and ministry of this good and faithful servant of the gospel; by his example he challenged all Christians to imitate how he lived and what he did. He was one who met presidents and preachers, monarchs and musicians, the poor and the rich, the young and the old, face to face. Yet now he is face to face with Jesus Christ, his savior and ours. It is the meeting he has been looking forward to for the whole of his life.' ___ TELEVANGELIST JOEL OSTEEN In a tweet, Osteen said, 'Billy Graham has always been and will always be a hero in our home. Next to my own father, Reverend Graham was the most humble and gracious man I ever knew. I am honored to call him a friend and a mentor. Victoria and I will miss him dearly.' ___ COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR NIHAD AWAD 'We offer the American Muslim community's condolences to the loved ones of Billy Graham, a towering religious figure who represented his faith with great enthusiasm, dignity and respect for all people, regardless of their beliefs. His sincere and humble spirituality served as an example to all people and will be greatly missed. May God bless his soul.
  • The Rev. Billy Graham, the magnetic, movie-star-handsome preacher who became a singular force in postwar American religious life, a confidant of presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, died Wednesday at 99. 'America's Pastor,' as he was dubbed, had suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments and died at his home in North Carolina. More than anyone else, Graham built evangelicalism into a force that rivaled liberal Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in the U.S. His leadership summits and crusades in more than 185 countries and territories forged powerful global links among conservative Christians and threw a lifeline to believers in the communist bloc. Tributes to Graham poured in from major leaders, with President Donald Trump tweeting: 'The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man.' Former President Barack Obama said Graham 'gave hope and guidance to generations of Americans.' A tall, striking man with thick, swept-back hair, stark blue eyes and a firm jaw, Graham was a commanding presence in the pulpit, with a powerful baritone voice. 'The Bible says,' was his catchphrase. His unquestioning belief in Scripture turned the Gospel into a 'rapier' in his hands, he said. Graham reached multitudes around the globe through public appearances and his pioneering use of prime-time telecasts, network radio, daily newspaper columns, evangelistic films and satellite TV hookups. By his final crusade in 2005 in New York City, he had preached in person to more than 210 million people worldwide. No evangelist is expected to have his level of influence again. 'William Franklin Graham Jr. can safely be regarded as the best who ever lived at what he did,' said William Martin, author of the Graham biography 'A Prophet With Honor.' Graham's body was moved Wednesday from his home in Montreat to Asheville, where a funeral home is handling the arrangements, said Mark DeMoss, a spokesman for the DeMoss Group, a public relations firm. Graham's body will be taken from Asheville to Charlotte on Saturday in a procession expected to take 3 ½ hours and ending at the Billy Graham Museum and Library. He will lie in repose Monday and Tuesday in the Charlotte house where he grew up, which was moved from its original location to the grounds of the Graham library. A private funeral for Graham will be held on Friday, March 2, in a tent at the library site and he will be buried next to his wife there, DeMoss said. Invitations to the funeral will be extended to President Donald Trump and former presidents, DeMoss said. Graham was a counselor to U.S. presidents of both parties from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor. When the Billy Graham Museum and Library was dedicated in 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton attended. 'When he prays with you in the Oval Office or upstairs in the White House, you feel he's praying for you, not the president,' Clinton said at the ceremony. Born Nov. 7, 1918, on his family's dairy farm near Charlotte, Graham came from a fundamentalist background that expected true Bible-believers to stay clear of Christians with even the most minor differences over Scripture. But he came to reject that view for a more ecumenical approach. Ordained a Southern Baptist, he later joined a then-emerging movement called New Evangelicalism that abandoned the narrowness of fundamentalism. Fundamentalists excoriated him for his new direction and broke with him when he agreed to work with more liberal Christians in the 1950s. Graham stood fast. 'The ecumenical movement has broadened my viewpoint and I recognize now that God has his people in all churches,' he said in the early 1950s. In 1957, he said, 'I intend to go anywhere, sponsored by anybody, to preach the Gospel of Christ.' His approach helped evangelicals gain the influence they have today. Graham's path began taking shape at age 16, when the Presbyterian-reared farmboy committed himself to Christ at a tent revival. 'I did not feel any special emotion,' he wrote in his 1997 autobiography, 'Just As I Am.' ''I simply felt at peace,' and thereafter, 'the world looked different.' After high school, he enrolled at the fundamentalist Bob Jones College but found the school stifling and transferred to Florida Bible Institute in Tampa. There, he practiced sermonizing in a swamp, preaching to birds and alligators before tryouts with small churches. He still wasn't convinced he should be a preacher until a soul-searching, late-night ramble on a golf course. 'I finally gave in while pacing at midnight on the 18th hole,' he said. ''All right, Lord,' I said, 'If you want me, you've got me.'' Graham went on to study at Wheaton College, a prominent Christian liberal arts school in Illinois, where he met fellow student Ruth Bell, who had been raised in China where her father had been a Presbyterian medical missionary. The two married in 1943, and he planned to become an Army chaplain. But he fell seriously ill, and by the time he recovered and could start the chaplain training program, World War II was nearly over. Instead, he took a job organizing meetings in the U.S. and Europe with Youth for Christ, a group he helped found. He stood out for his loud ties and suits, and his rapid delivery and swinging arms won him the nickname 'the Preaching Windmill.' A 1949 Los Angeles revival turned Graham into evangelism's rising star. Held in a tent dubbed the 'Canvas Cathedral,' the gathering had been drawing adequate but not spectacular crowds until one night when reporters and photographers descended. When Graham asked them why, a reporter said that publisher William Randolph Hearst had ordered his papers to hype Graham. Graham said he never found out why. Over the next decade, his huge crusades in England and New York catapulted him to international celebrity. His 12-week London campaign in 1954 defied expectations, drawing more than 2 million people and the respect of the British, many of whom had derided him before his arrival as little more than a slick salesman. Three years later, he held a crusade in New York's Madison Square Garden that was so popular it was extended from six to 16 weeks, capped off with a rally in Times Square that packed Broadway with more than 100,000 people. The strain of so much preaching caused the already trim Graham to lose 30 pounds by the time the event ended. As the civil rights movement took shape, Graham was no social activist and never joined marches, which led prominent Christians such as theologian Reinhold Niebuhr to condemn him as too moderate. Still, Graham ended racially segregated seating at his Southern crusades in 1953, a year before the Supreme Court's school integration ruling, and long refused to visit South Africa while its white regime insisted on racially segregated meetings. In a 2005 interview with The Associated Press, Graham said he regretted that he didn't battle for civil rights more forcefully. 'I think I made a mistake when I didn't go to Selma' with many clergy who joined the Alabama march led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 'I would like to have done more.' Graham more robustly took on the cause of anti-communism, making preaching against the atheist regime part of his sermons for years. As America's most famous religious leader, he golfed with statesmen and entertainers and dined with royalty. Graham's relationships with U.S. presidents became a source of pride for conservative Christians who were often caricatured as backward. George W. Bush credited Graham with helping him transform himself from carousing oilman to born-again Christian family man. Graham's White House ties proved problematic when his close friend Richard Nixon resigned in the Watergate scandal, leaving Graham devastated and baffled. He resolved to take a lower profile in the political world, going as far as discouraging the Rev. Jerry Falwell, a founder of the Moral Majority, from mixing religion and politics. 'Evangelicals can't be closely identified with any particular party or person. We have to stand in the middle, to preach to all the people, right and left,' Graham said in 1981, according to Time magazine. 'I haven't been faithful to my own advice in the past. I will in the future.' Yet, during the 2012 White House campaign, with Graham mostly confined to his North Carolina home, he all but endorsed Republican Mitt Romney. And the evangelist's ministry took out full-page ads in support of a ballot measure that would ban gay marriage. Some critics on social media faulted Graham for that stance Wednesday, saying his position had harmed gay rights. Graham's son the Rev. Franklin Graham, who runs the ministry, said his father viewed gay marriage as a moral, not a political, issue. Graham's integrity was credited with salvaging the reputation of broadcast evangelism in the dark days of the late 1980s, after scandals befell TV preachers Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. He resolved early on never to be alone with a woman other than his wife. Instead of taking a share of the 'love offerings' at his crusades, he drew a modest salary from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. His ministry was governed by an independent board that included successful Christian businessmen and other professionals — a stark departure from the widespread evangelical practice of packing boards with relatives and yes-men. 'Why, I could make a quarter of a million dollars a year in this field or in Hollywood if I wanted to,' Graham said. 'The offers I've had from Hollywood studios are amazing. But I just laughed. I told them I was staying with God.' He was on the road for months at a time, leaving Ruth at their mountainside home in Montreat to raise their five children: Franklin, Virginia ('Gigi'), Anne, Ruth and Nelson ('Ned'). Anne Graham Lotz said her mother was effectively 'a single parent.' Ruth sometimes grew so lonely when Billy was traveling that she slept with his tweed jacket for comfort. But she said, 'I'd rather have a little of Bill than a lot of any other man.' She died in 2007 at age 87. 'I will miss her terribly,' Billy Graham said, 'and look forward even more to the day I can join her in heaven.' Lotz said in a statement Wednesday that she remembers her father's personal side, the man 'who was always a farmer at heart. Who loved his dogs and his cat. Who followed the weather patterns almost as closely as he did world events. Who wore old blue jeans, comfortable sweaters, and a baseball cap. Who loved lukewarm coffee, sweet ice tea, one scoop of ice cream, and a plain hamburger from McDonald's.' In his later years, Graham visited communist Eastern Europe and increasingly appealed for world peace. He opened a 1983 convention of evangelists from 140 nations by urging the elimination of nuclear and biological weapons. He told audiences in Czechoslovakia that 'we must do all we can to preserve life and avoid war,' although he opposed unilateral disarmament. In 1982, he went to Moscow to preach and attend a conference on world peace. During that visit, he said he saw no signs of Soviet religious persecution, a misguided attempt at diplomacy that brought scathing criticism from author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, among others. Graham's relationship with Nixon became an issue once again when tapes released in 2002 caught the preacher telling the president that Jews 'don't know how I really feel about what they're doing to this country.' Graham apologized, saying he didn't recall ever having such feelings and asking the Jewish community to consider his actions above his words. In 1995, his son Franklin was named the ministry's leader. Along with many other honors, Graham received the $1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1982 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1996. 'I have been asked, 'What is the secret?'' Graham had said of his preaching. 'Is it showmanship, organization or what? The secret of my work is God. I would be nothing without him.' ___ Online: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: http://www.billygraham.org Billy Graham Center archives: http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/archhp1.html ___ Zoll reported from New York. Retired Associated Press Religion Writer Richard N. Ostling contributed to this report.