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Evangelist Billy Graham hospitalized with respiratory issue

Nov. 7, 2013: Billy Graham is pictured during a celebration for his 95th birthday in Asheville, North Carolina, in this handout photo provided by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. U.S. evangelist Billy Graham, who helped transform Christianity in America during seven decades in the pulpit, marked his 95th birthday on Thursday with a rare public appearance among close to 900 people who gathered to celebrate his life.Reuters/Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

Evangelist Billy Graham is in the hospital with a respiratory congestion issue, his spokesman says.

Graham, 95, has been hospitalized in the past over similar health concerns.

“As was the case then, we expect he will be able to return home in a day or two,” Mark DeMoss said in a statement Wednesday. Graham is being treated at the Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C.

For six decades, Graham led a worldwide crusade-based ministry that packed stadiums with believers and allowed him to counsel every U.S. president since Harry Truman. His most recent book, "The Reason for Hope: Salvation," was released in October.

In recent years, age-related conditions such as macular degeneration and hearing loss have kept Graham at his home in Montreat, N.C., about 20 miles east of Asheville.

In October, Graham went in for a regularly scheduled doctor's visit but spent two nights in the hospital for pulmonary testing. He has been hospitalized for a number of health-related issues in the past few years and now uses a wheelchair.

Graham has also suffered from prostate cancer and was hospitalized in 2007 for nearly two weeks after experiencing intestinal bleeding. His wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in June 2007.

Graham rarely appears in public now. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is run by Graham's son, Franklin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.