Billy Graham
Professional wrestler; American football player; bodybuilder
Billy Graham
Eldridge Wayne Coleman is a retired American professional wrestler. He is best known under the ring name "Superstar" Billy Graham and for his tenures in the World Wide / World Wrestling Federation. During his time in the promotion, he became a one time WWWF World Heavyweight Champion. Graham's popularity was based principally on the basis of his character, rather than his wrestling skills.
Biography
Billy Graham's personal information overview.
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Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Billy Graham
News
News abour Billy Graham from around the web
Why Did Over A Dozen Bloggers Leave Patheos?
Huffington Post - 14 days
Patheos is an interfaith media platform that hosts hundreds of blogs on different faith channels. I have been writing on the Pagan channel of Patheos for about four years now, that is, until this past Monday. A few months ago Patheos was purchased by Beliefnet, which is owned by an evangelical organization. There were concerns among many of the Pagan writers over what this would mean for them. At least one Pagan blogger, Gus DiZerega, said he had been censored by Beliefnet when he wrote for them. In that instance, Beliefnet summarily deleted a conversation on his blog criticizing a Christian who had condoned the abuse of African witches by African Christians. When DiZerega complained, he was told it was their site not his, so he left. The Patheos Pagan editor, Jason Mankey, assured the Pagan writers that nothing would change because of Beliefnet's acquisition of Patheos. But on January 30th, the writers at Patheos suddenly received new contracts their mailboxes. This was not a ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Here's How Franklin Graham Justifies Trump's Expected Refugee Ban
Huffington Post - 26 days
Rev. Franklin Graham, an evangelical pastor and the president of the international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, sees no problem with the White House’s plans to prevent refugees fleeing war-torn Syria from entering the United States.  For Graham, it’s simply “not a Bible issue.” President Donald Trump is expected to sign executive orders later this week that could temporarily ban refugees and immigrants from countries his administration deems high-risk, like Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. According to a draft version of the document obtained by The Huffington Post, priority will be given to religious minorities ― which means Christians in these Muslim-majority countries could be favored over Muslims. Graham, son of the famous evangelist Billy Graham, has stood firmly behind Trump’s administration since the election, joining the president’s “Thank You” tour and offering a Bible reading at the inauguration.  As the leader of a humani ...
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Huffington Post article
A Pastor Who Said Islam Is ‘Evil’ Is Speaking At Trump's Inauguration
Huffington Post - about 1 month
An evangelical pastor who thinks Islam is “evil” is set to deliver prayers on Friday at the inauguration ceremony for a president-elect who thinks “Islam hates us.”   Rev. Franklin Graham is among six faith leaders chosen by Donald Trump to offer their prayers, benedictions or other statements during Trump’s swearing-in on Jan. 20.  Graham is president of the Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He is also one of America’s more prolific anti-Muslim bigots, and his inclusion in Friday’s ceremony has saddened, but not necessarily surprised, American Muslim groups. “[Trump] ran a campaign riddled with Islamophobia, so it’s no surprise that the person he brings in at inauguration is the pastor with the longest track record of anti-Islam bigotry in the U.S.” said Imraan Siddiqi, executive director at the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR.  “Extremist voices like Graham are given legitim ...
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Huffington Post article
Cliff Barrows, Billy Graham’s Longtime Musical Director, Dies at 93
NYTimes - 3 months
Mr. Barrows and Mr. Graham met by chance in 1945 and began a professional association that lasted more than 70 years.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Many Evangelical Leaders Would Stick With Trump Even If He Were A Cold-Blooded Killer
Huffington Post - 4 months
Donald Trump said back in January that he "could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody" and he still wouldn't lose support. From their words and deeds in recent days, it appears that many evangelical leaders would be among the first to announce their continued allegiance if Trump did such a thing. Despite a blistering editorial today in Christianity Today, the flagship magazine of American evangelicalism, and despite noted evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem in recent days joining Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention, who has condemned Trump for a long time, most prominent evangelical leaders are sticking by the GOP nominee after the surfacing on Friday of the explosive tape that has sent his campaign into a spiral. They invoke the "we're all sinners" argument when it suits them politically, and apparently now they're even invoking it for a man who has bragged about engaging in sexual violence against women. The ease with which Jerry Falwell Jr., of Lib ...
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Huffington Post article
When I Hear the National Anthem, I Will Kneel and Bow My Head
Huffington Post - 5 months
In 2008, I felt like an american for the first time because I saw a leader who looked like me. All my life I hoped my education and accomplishments would free me from the history of my skin color as inherently inferior and intimidating - it never did. But then Barack Hussein Obama became President and I watched the inauguration and thought "I belong now." Things are different. And sadly, that simply isn't true. Hate groups are more active in the United States than ever before and we have presidential candidates whose platforms oppress and violate the most vulnerable people here and abroad. Lord have mercy. In 2011, sitting with undocumented students who had hope for immigration reform, I had hope too. But then we all saw what happened, or rather what didn't happen in congress. In 2012, Billy Graham took out a full page ad reminding everyone to vote Romney for true biblical values. Seriously? And then a barrage of events happened for me that were quite overwhelming and highlighted Am ...
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Huffington Post article
Prayer or politics? Evangelist rallies Christians in Boston
Yahoo News - 6 months
BOSTON (AP) — The son of evangelist Billy Graham urged a gathering on the historic Boston Common on Tuesday to vote in the November election but stressed he was taking no sides publicly in the U.S. presidential race.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Donald Trump Says He Can't Be Bought. His Record Suggests He Can.
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump markets himself as the rare politician who can't be bought. He says he's the only candidate who's immune to the kind of backdoor access and palm-greasing that infects official Washington. But the story of his charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, illustrates a different side of Trump. Donors give money to the foundation; the billionaire scratches their backs and uses their money to burnish his ego and, more recently, his political reputation. Initially, the charitable foundation gave mostly to nonpolitical causes. But since 2010, when Trump began considering a run for president as a Republican, his foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to conservative political groups, including the Citizens United Foundation, the Iowa-based Family Leader Foundation and Liberty Central, the advocacy group led by Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The Trump Foundation, which was founded in 198 ...
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Huffington Post article
Pastor freed by Iran to reunite with wife at North Carolina retreat
Yahoo News - about 1 year
Saeed Abedini, an American pastor freed this month from an Iranian prison as part of a U.S.-Iranian prisoner swap, will be reunited with his wife and children on Monday at a Christian center in the North Carolina mountains. The Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove, founded by the famed evangelical minister and his family, said Abedini wanted time to adjust and reconnect with his family after more than three years of imprisonment in Iran. Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, also told Reuters last week the couple would work on their marriage.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
The Truth About the Church and Social Justice
Huffington Post - about 1 year
What a time to be alive in American history. Political tensions are high, racial tensions are high, sexual orientation tensions are high... people are fighting for their beliefs with passion and commitment on both sides, and that in and of itself is admirable. Less admirable of course are the acts of hatred, the words of dehumanization. Ah, we say, but those are few and far between, those bad apples ruining the barrel. But what does the world say? The world says there is a Church who is adding pain to the ripped open flesh of her wound, rather than one who is nursing her back to health. The world says there is a Church who is blind, who is stubborn, who is hateful. Most Christians feel otherwise because we have experienced otherwise. But how do we respond to a world who is clearly telling us that something has gone very, very wrong? Since it's inception, the Church has struggled to love well. (This could possibly be due to the fact that the Church is made up of actual people.) ...
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Huffington Post article
People Are Complaining To The Wrong Wheaton College
Huffington Post - about 1 year
NORTON, Mass. (AP) -- The angry emails came in a flurry to the president's office at Wheaton College, a small, picturesque campus near Boston. But they all shared one simple mistake. They were sent to the wrong Wheaton. More than 1,000 miles away, another Wheaton College near Chicago was planning to fire a professor after she declared solidarity with Muslims. That Wheaton, the intended target of the emails, is known for its evangelical Christian mission. The Wheaton College in Massachusetts is a secular liberal-arts school. They aren't related. But the two schools are a frequent source of confusion. Students apply to the wrong college. Donors send money to the other Wheaton. "The name confusion is a longstanding and deep-rooted problem," said Dennis Hanno, president of the Wheaton in Massachusetts. "But it's one that we often just chuckle about." On the Norton campus of 1,600 students, roughly half the size of the Illinois college, everyone has heard about mix-ups. Tak ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
People Are Complaining To The Wrong Wheaton College
Huffington Post - about 1 year
NORTON, Mass. (AP) -- The angry emails came in a flurry to the president's office at Wheaton College, a small, picturesque campus near Boston. But they all shared one simple mistake. They were sent to the wrong Wheaton. More than 1,000 miles away, another Wheaton College near Chicago was planning to fire a professor after she declared solidarity with Muslims. That Wheaton, the intended target of the emails, is known for its evangelical Christian mission. The Wheaton College in Massachusetts is a secular liberal-arts school. They aren't related. But the two schools are a frequent source of confusion. Students apply to the wrong college. Donors send money to the other Wheaton. "The name confusion is a longstanding and deep-rooted problem," said Dennis Hanno, president of the Wheaton in Massachusetts. "But it's one that we often just chuckle about." On the Norton campus of 1,600 students, roughly half the size of the Illinois college, everyone has heard about mix-ups. Tak ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
People Are Complaining To The Wrong Wheaton College
Huffington Post - about 1 year
NORTON, Mass. (AP) -- The angry emails came in a flurry to the president's office at Wheaton College, a small, picturesque campus near Boston. But they all shared one simple mistake. They were sent to the wrong Wheaton. More than 1,000 miles away, another Wheaton College near Chicago was planning to fire a professor after she declared solidarity with Muslims. That Wheaton, the intended target of the emails, is known for its evangelical Christian mission. The Wheaton College in Massachusetts is a secular liberal-arts school. They aren't related. But the two schools are a frequent source of confusion. Students apply to the wrong college. Donors send money to the other Wheaton. "The name confusion is a longstanding and deep-rooted problem," said Dennis Hanno, president of the Wheaton in Massachusetts. "But it's one that we often just chuckle about." On the Norton campus of 1,600 students, roughly half the size of the Illinois college, everyone has heard about mix-ups. Tak ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Billy Graham
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2011
    Age 67
    On April 2011, Billy Graham stated he wanted out of the WWE Hall of Fame stating "For the WWE to induct into their Hall of Fame, Abdullah The Butcher, who has never wrestled one match under a WWE contract, is bordering on blasphemy.
    More Details Hide Details I am demanding that this company remove my name from their index of Hall of Fame wrestlers. It is a shameless organization to induct a bloodthirsty animal such as Abdullah The Butcher into their worthless and embarrassing Hall of Fame and I want the name of Superstar Billy Graham to be no part of it. The WWE and their Hall of Fame is disgustingly embarrassing, I want out." (Graham's outrage was due to the longstanding accusations that Abdullah was infecting wrestlers with Hepatitis C through sharing a blade and/or cutting wrestlers without their knowledge.) 7 Abdullah responded, mentioning his previous friendship with Graham and questioning his outburst. Despite these demands, Billy Graham's name has not been removed from the Hall of Fame section on WWE's main website. Graham has expressed interest in making a return to wrestling if he is offered a contract with HFW.
    On March 31, 2011, The Phoenix New Times reported that Graham's doctor, Hector Rodriguez-Luna, acknowledged that Graham's advanced fibrosis may be early cirrhosis and that he could live for two more years if he takes Interferon-a drug to help slow his Hepatitis C- at a good pace and stays in shape.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2010
    Age 66
    On December 2, 2010, Graham issued a statement regarding his last wrestling-related appearance, health issues and funeral ceremony.
    More Details Hide Details Graham stated that he reserved a burial spot at the Green Acres cemetery in Scottsdale, Arizona, next to Eddie Guerrero.
    In July 2010, Graham was hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona due to liver problems.
    More Details Hide Details Afterwards, it was announced he had an enlarged spleen and would probably have one year left to live without another liver transplant.
  • 2006
    Age 62
    Graham was again hospitalized, this time on May 24, 2006, due to a bowel obstruction from an earlier surgery.
    More Details Hide Details
    Due to his body being ravaged from years of steroid use, Graham now lectures high school athletes on the dangers of steroids. Graham's autobiography, Tangled Ropes, was released by WWE on January 10, 2006.
    More Details Hide Details WWE also released a DVD about Graham's career, titled 20 Years Too Soon: The "Superstar" Billy Graham Story. As stated in his autobiography Tangled Ropes, Graham and his wife Valerie were never able to have children due to his massive steroid abuse rendering him sterile. He does, however, have two children from a previous marriage: a son named Joey (born in 1975) and a daughter named Capella (born in 1972).
    On the January 23, 2006 episode of Raw, he promoted his book and DVD.
    More Details Hide Details Many wrestlers have claimed to have based their looks and styles on Billy Graham. Some examples are Austin Idol, Scott Steiner, Triple H, Hulk Hogan, Rusty Brooks, S.D. Jones and Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Graham was also famous for incessant use of the word "brother" in his promos, referring to either commentators or fellow wrestlers. This stems from his roots attending evangelical meetings, where everybody referred to each other as "brother" or "sister" (in Christ). Graham's constant use of the word caught on, and since then countless wrestlers have also used "brother" in their own respective promos, most notably Hulk Hogan.
  • 2005
    Age 61
    On November 18, 2005, Graham presided over the funeral service for wrestler Eddie Guerrero.
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    On February 25, 2005, Graham appeared at another live event, and was again interviewed by Coachman before knocking him out.
    More Details Hide Details Three days later, Graham appeared on Raw, where he encouraged Randy Orton to do something to make himself notable. On October 3 at WWE Homecoming, Graham participated in a Legends Ceremony with 24 other WWE legends.
  • 2004
    Age 60
    On March 14, 2004, Graham was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, the night before WrestleMania XX, by then-World Heavyweight Champion Triple H.
    More Details Hide Details Several months later, Graham returned to WWE at a live event on December 28, where he was interviewed by Jonathan Coachman before knocking Coachman out.
    This caused a rift between McMahon and Graham that lasted for over ten years before Graham was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.
    More Details Hide Details However, five years after being inducted, Graham was released from his consultancy position in World Wrestling Entertainment and reacted by selling his Hall of Fame ring on eBay after discovering McMahon had no intentions of constructing a physical building for the WWE Hall of Fame. In the November 18, 2009 edition of the Hartford Courant, Graham discussed his intentions to ensure the defeat of former WWE CEO Linda McMahon, wife of Vince McMahon, in her bid for a seat as a U.S. Senator from Connecticut.
  • FIFTIES
  • 2002
    Age 58
    Graham received a liver transplant in 2002 from twenty six year-old donor Katie Gillroy, who died in a car crash, and said he would not be alive today without the transplant.
    More Details Hide Details On March 12, 2004, only a day before being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, Graham was hospitalized due to a severely prolapsed rectum.
  • FORTIES
  • 1992
    Age 48
    In 1992, at the height of Vince McMahon's steroid allegations, Graham went on The Phil Donahue Show and revealed to the world that he was an avid user of steroids, and went on a tirade against McMahon about it.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1990
    Age 46
    Graham had further medical complications in subsequent years, having to have his ankle fused in 1990 and a second hip replacement (on the same leg) in 1991.
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  • 1987
    Age 43
    He returned in mid-1987 and feuded with Butch Reed for a few months, but the strain on his hip as well as his ankles also deteriorating proved to be too much.
    More Details Hide Details One Man Gang retired him from active competition permanently with a running splash on the concrete floor during a match against Reed, aired on the November 14, 1987 episode of Superstars. Don Muraco came to Graham's aid, and Graham subsequently became Muraco's manager. Graham was scheduled to wrestle in the main event in the first-ever Survivor Series, but Muraco took his place once Graham retired.
  • 1986
    Age 42
    Graham returned to the WWF one more time in 1986 as a fan favorite.
    More Details Hide Details After a few appearances, it was diagnosed that Graham required a hip replacement.. The footage of Graham's hip replacement surgery was shown on WWF TV as a means to promote Graham's comeback.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1982
    Age 38
    Graham returned to the now renamed World Wrestling Federation in 1982.
    More Details Hide Details Upon returning to the promotion, Graham debuted an entirely new look, sporting a bald head and mustache. This gimmick was not considered successful, and Graham later stated that he wanted to retire the "Superstar" character out of frustration with Vince McMahon Sr. for not letting him turn babyface. He soon challenged Backlund for the WWF Championship, but was unable to win the title. In response, he destroyed Backlund's championship belt by literally tearing it half. He left the promotion soon after. After his run in Championship Wrestling from Florida, first as a member of Kevin Sullivan's Army of Darkness and later as the group's opponent, Graham spent some time in Jim Crockett Promotions, working for Paul Jones in his feud against Jimmy Valiant. It was during this time that the Graham returned to his tie-dyed look, growing a full goatee and dyeing the mustache blond. Hulk Hogan copied elements of this look, with his villainous "Hollywood Hogan" character in World Championship Wrestling in the 1990s (as did Scott Steiner with his "Big Poppa Pump" character around the same period). Graham also spent some time in the American Wrestling Association, working with Wahoo McDaniel and Ken Patera.
  • 1979
    Age 35
    Fans were making Graham a popular figure on their own — even Roberta Morgan's 1979 kayfabe book Main Event had to admit that, "Although he is a rule bender, Graham has managed to stay very popular with the fans, probably because of his skill, strength, and colorful personality" — but the era of explicit and intentional "cool heels" did not come until the 1990s with the likes of the New World Order (nWo), D-Generation X, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock.
    More Details Hide Details One of Graham's most renowned feuds as Champion was with Dusty Rhodes, which culminated in a Texas Bullrope match. Graham left the promotion soon after the match. As a headliner in Madison Square Garden, which was the WWWF's primary arena throughout his heyday, Graham sold out 19 of 20 shows. Though other wrestlers such as Sammartino and Backlund had more career sellouts at Madison Square Garden, Graham's 95% percentage is easily the highest in company history.
  • 1978
    Age 34
    He eventually lost the title to Bob Backlund on February 20, 1978.
    More Details Hide Details Graham competed in the 1980 world's strongest man competition and finished seventh despite being injured in one of the events. Graham suggested to Vincent J. McMahon that Ivan Koloff should turn on him, thus starting a feud that would make Graham a fan favorite. McMahon refused because of a handshake deal to make Bob Backlund the new fan favorite champion. He did not want to go back on his word. It was also unheard of for a character like Graham to be a fan favorite, because McMahon and many old promoters saw Graham as a heel.
  • 1977
    Age 33
    One of Graham's most famous matches took place in 1977 in Miami, Florida at the famed Orange Bowl football stadium against then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race in a WWWF Championship vs. NWA World Heavyweight Championship unification match which ended in a bloody one hour time-limit draw.
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  • 1975
    Age 31
    After a few stints for the promotion between 1975 and 1976, Graham defeated Bruno Sammartino for the World Heavyweight Championship on April 30, 1977, in Baltimore, Maryland.
    More Details Hide Details The title win set a precedent, as previous heels who had won the WWWF Title would almost immediately lose it, serving as a conduit (or "transitional champion") between fan favorite reigns. Graham would go on to hold the title for nine and a half months; to this day, Graham's 296 day reign is the longest single world title reign of any heel in WWE history, with Yokozuna's second championship run and JBL's only championship run in a tie for second-place (although Randy Savage held the title longer than all three, for 371 days, he didn't become a heel until almost the end of his title run). During his reign, he wrestled across America and even in Japan, facing well-known challengers such as former champion Bruno Sammartino, Jack Brisco, Dusty Rhodes, Pedro Morales, Don Muraco, Mil Mascaras and Riki Chōshū.
    Graham debuted in the World Wide Wrestling Federation in 1975, with The Grand Wizard as his manager.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1972
    Age 28
    In 1972, Graham's popularity rose significantly during his feud with Verne Gagne in the American Wrestling Association.
    More Details Hide Details Another of Graham's opponents during this time frame was Ric Drasin, a bodybuilder and wrestler who was one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's weight training partners.
  • 1970
    Age 26
    While being scouted by the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders, Graham was encouraged by Bob Roop to train with Stu Hart for his Stampede Wrestling promotion. After joining Hart instead of the Stampeders, Coleman trained under him before debuting on January 16, 1970After wrestling briefly under his real name, Graham traveled back to America and joined the National Wrestling Alliance's Los Angeles in a tag team with Dr. Jerry Graham and changed his ring name to Billy Graham, as a tribute to the famous evangelist of the same name.
    More Details Hide Details While wrestling in Championship Wrestling from Florida, the name doubled as both his ring name and also to make him the (kayfabe) youngest brother of Jerry and the other Graham Brothers (Eddie and Luke).
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1943
    Born
    Born on June 7, 1943.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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