Luis Palau, Jr. was born in Argentina in 1934. God had big plans for him. 

The beloved veteran evangelist has passed away at the age of 86 due to complications from lung cancer. He’s had an amazing life. We share that with you here.

In announcing the news of his passing, the Palau Family says, "It is with a mixture of sadness and joy that we share with you that Dad passed away early this morning. He died suddenly and very peacefully, just as he had hoped. Mom and the family are doing well ... This is hard news, but Luis is experiencing the beauty of the Lord face to face." 

Here are some highlights of his career in ministry:

Luis Palau committed his life to Jesus Christ in 1947 at a summer camp. 

He first heard Billy Graham on the radio in Argentina in 1952 and prayed that God would help him become an evangelist like Dr. Graham. That prayer would be answered.

Palau enrolled at Multnomah Bible College in Portland, Oregon in 1960 and married one year later. He became an American citizen in 1962. Also that year, he began work for Billy Graham as a Spanish translator at a Fresno, California crusade. 

In 1964 Palau started Christian radio broadcasts based in Colombia, with 22 million listeners in the Spanish-speaking world. He later moved his ministry to Oregon. 

In 1970, Billy Graham helped with funding for Palau to launch his own ministry which has touched millions worldwide. He was often known as the “Billy Graham of Latin America.”

In 1989, Palau was one of the first evangelists to enter Russia as the Soviet Union fell apart. At Leningrad’s Olympic Stadium, more than 50% of those attending accepted Christ!

In 2001, just after the 9/11 attacks, Palau shared Jesus with 50,000 people at Beachfest Santa Cruz in California. He also attended a White House meeting and prayed with President Bush and other Christian leaders.   

Palau hosted CityFest in New York City, which drew 60,000 people to Central Park in 2015. More than 1,700 churches were involved in the massive event. 

For years, Palau’s distinct and unmistakable voice has been heard on K-LOVE Radio in one-minute messages:


Palau C Luis and Andrew Palau NYC 2015
[Photo Credit: Palau Association] Luis and Andrew Palau NYC (2015)

Palau’s organization shares on its web page:

Luis Palau and his ministry have shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with tens of millions of people through evangelistic events and media over the past 50 years. He has spoken in 75 countries with more than 1 million registered decisions for Jesus Christ. He has authored close to 50 books, contributed articles on issues of faith to countless publications, and counseled business leaders, political leaders, and heads of state around the world. 

In 2019, “Palau – The Movie” was released, starring Argentine actor Gaston Pauls. It gives an inside look at how Palau was influenced and guided by God. This film is free for current Amazon Prime subscribers.

Please remember to pray for the Palau Family as they go through this time of mourning and remembrance.