Ruth Graham Dead at 87

Motorcycle-riding evangelist's wife recalled as spirited, opinionated
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2007 4:14 AM CDT
Evangelist Billy Graham, left, and his wife Ruth Graham sit for an interview in their Montreat, N.C., mountaintop home in this Aug. 11, 2003, file photo. Ruth Graham, who surrendered dreams of missionary...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Ruth Graham, wife of Billy Graham, stayed in the background of the legendary evangelist's ministry but was far from obscure. The missionary's daughter was at once demure, feisty, independent, and unpredictable, the LA Times reports. Graham, who died yesterday at 87, was also an accomplished poet and parent to five children whose father often traveled for months at a time.

Ruth and Billy Graham met at Wheaton College, where she enrolled at 17. At the height of Graham's popularity as an evangelist, she threatened to leave him if he ran for president. He never did. Billy Graham said yesterday, "We were called to God as a team. No one else could have borne the load that she carried."