Former President Jimmy Carter reacts to Billy Graham's death

Former President Jimmy Carter has released a statement following the death of renowned evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham, stating he's deeply saddened.

Graham, who long suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments, died at his home in North Carolina, according to spokesman Mark DeMoss. He was 99.

Dubbed "America's pastor," he was a confidant to U.S. presidents from Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush. That also included Jimmy Carter, who said Graham had an enormous influence on his own spiritual life.

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Wednesday morning, Carter released the following statement about Graham's passing:

In 1983, following Carter's term in office, President Reagan gave Graham the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor. When the Billy Graham Museum and Library was dedicated in 2007 in Charlotte, Carter was among the former presidents who attended.

Graham, the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, will be buried by his wife, Ruth, at the Billy Graham Museum and Library.

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