Billy Graham’s High School Years

November 29, 2017

Categories: Billy Graham

In 1936, Billy Graham graduated from Sharon High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. A few of his friends are pictured above: Winston Covington (featured in the story below), Virginia Stewart Shepherd, Billy Graham, Elizabeth Ross Latimer, Dorothy Alexander Potter, Alfred Alexander, Fred Alexander, and Dorothy Harkey Morgret.


In Billy Graham’s writings, he often mentions his high-spirited personality as a young boy. His typical routine while in high school included milking the cows, chores, baseball practice, homework, church, and hanging out with friends. In his biography, Just As I Am, Graham reflects on his youth.

“Driving cars was every boy’s obsession,” Graham said. “When I was in the ninth grade, I started asking my father for the car to go to a basketball game, or maybe out on an evening date, thus launching a driving career that nearly came to an abrupt end. One night out on Park Road, I was showing off with some of my buddies. My closest school friends were Sam Paxton, Wint Covington, and Julian Miller. Somehow I steered the car into heavy mud. In minutes that goo came up over the fenders. I have gone into a sinkhole. With considerable embarrassment, I went to a nearby house to phone my father and ask him to bring a team of mules to pull the car out. He made it perfectly clear to me that he was upset.

I might have had some tendencies toward crowd-pleasing wildness when I got behind a steering wheel.”

In 1986, Graham hosted the 50th Reunion of the Sharon High School Class of 1936. Above is a picture of Graham with his school friends in 1936, and below is a recreation of the picture at their reunion. At the reunion, Graham said, “I don’t think we are ready to live until we are ready to die. … And I am ready to live another 50 years. I feel 18 in my heart.”

In 1986, Billy Graham hosted a 50th class reunion. He and his friends recreated the picture from years ago. Missing from this photo is Alfred Alexander who was killing in action during World War II.




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