Hinckley, Gordon Bitner

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Gordon Bitner Hinckley, 1910–2008, leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons; see Latter-day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ of), b. Salt Lake City, grad. Univ. of Utah. He began his lifetime in church service as a missionary (1933–35) in England. He later directed the church's public communications and missionary program, and in 1961 entered the upper ranks of the Mormon leadership. After serving (1981–95) as counselor to three successive church presidents, he was the church's president and prophet from 1995 until his death. Hinckley, who traveled widely, contributed significantly to the church's growth abroad. He stressed the importance of marriage and the family, and initiated a fund for the college education of needy Mormons. In Salt Lake City, he promoted the renovation of the Mormon Tabernacle and the building of a massive new assembly hall. His books include Standing for Something (2000) and Way to Be! (2002).