COS COB, Conn.,
Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in its 20-year history, Chicken Soup for the Soul is releasing a one-of-a-kind tribute book composed of stories and recollections honoring a single individual. All 101 contributors to
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Billy Graham & Me (978-1611599053,
) recognize Mr. Graham's unique ability to inspire leaders from diverse disciplines and faiths, all sharing their respect and appreciation for the evangelist's extraordinary influence over the last six decades.
In addition to stories from every living U.S. President and many other influential world leaders, the book contains tributes from artists and athletes such as Wynonna Judd, Charlie Daniels, Danny Wuerffel and NASCAR driver Jason Allgaeir. Other celebrities who share their personal experiences with Mr. Graham include media personalities such as Dan Rather, Larry King, Kyra Phillips and Kathie Lee Gifford, actors Cheryl Ladd and Kevin Sorbo, and model turned entrepreneur Kathy Ireland.
Religious leaders also pay homage to the man they consider a true mentor, with stories from Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Tim Keller, Mark Batterson, Jud Wilhite and Miles McPherson. Even those of other faiths, such as Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and South African activist Ela Gandhi, emphasize Billy Graham's spiritual influence around the world. Finally, Mr. Graham's own family and friends honor him for his authenticity, with stories from daughters Anne and Ruth, sister Jean Ford and lifelong ministry partner Cliff Barrows.Common themes throughout the 101 stories emphasize Mr. Graham's integrity and humility. He is revealed to be a man loving and accepting of all, with a genuine faith from which he draws peace, strength and hope that he is able to share with others. His role as a culture changer is also clearly evident, with contributors such as Bernice King and John Lewis lauding Mr. Graham's commitment to civil rights and racial equality.