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Preacher Graham knighted

LONDON, England -- Veteran American evangelist Billy Graham has been made an honorary knight in recognition of his contribution to religious life.

Graham, 83, received the title in Washington from Sir Christopher Meyer, the British Ambassador to the U.S., on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "He is being honoured for his huge and truly international contribution to civic and religious life over 60 years."

The award, Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, is made to foreign nationals.

Holders are not called Sir, but are entitled to have the letters KBE after their name.

Graham claims to have preached the Gospel to more live audiences than anyone in history and has taken his message to more than 210 million people in more than 185 countries.

He has acted as confidant to every U.S. President since Harry Truman in 1945 and has met the queen several times during his tours of the UK.

Graham became a Christian in 1934 at the age of 16 after a hearing travelling preacher the Rev Mordecai Ham at a revival meeting.

Now suffering from Parkinson's disease, he spends most of his time at his mountain retreat in North Carolina.

Past recipients of honorary knighthoods include Ronald Reagan, Steven Spielberg, Colin Powell and Bob Geldof.


• Billy Graham
• The British Monarchy
• Brit-Info: The Honours System

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