Thursday, May 1, 2008
Biography of Elder Robert D. Hales - Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Elder Robert Dean Hales was born on August 24, 1932 in New York City, New York. He is the youngest of 3 children. He grew up attending Church in Queens. He went to high school in Long Island, where he played baseball. He graduated in 1954 with a degree in communications and business from the University of Utah, where he also played baseball and worked in radio broadcasting. Elder Hales continues to take interest in sports. During one summer while in college, he returned home to New York where he met Mary Elene Crandall. They were married on June 10, 1953 in the Salt Lake temple and have 2 sons.
Following his graduation, Elder Hales served in the US Air Force as a fighter pilot. He then earned an MBA degree from Harvard in 1960. He had a distinguished business career, serving in various executive positions of numerous companies.
He also served actively in the Church, serving 3 times as Branch President, a member of a branch presidency, 3 times as Bishop, a counselor in a Stake Presidency, an Elders Quorum President, a high councilor, an early morning seminary teacher, and a Regional Representative. He was called as an Assistant to the Twelve in April 1975 and as a member of the First Quorum of Seventy in 1976. From 1978-9, he served as Mission President of the London England Mission. He also served as a counselor in the General Sunday School Presidency from 1981-85. From 1985-1994 he served as the Presiding Bishop. On April 2, 1994, he was sustained--at the age of 61--as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Other interesting facts to note: Elder Hales has suffered two heart attacks. He also enjoys playing golf. The motto of his Air Force unit was “Return with Honor”, which Elder Hales thinks about often. As a baseball pitcher, he once threw a no-hitter.
I met Elder Hales about a year ago at a Stake Conference in my hometown. He was very friendly and willing to reach out and talk to people. I could tell he is a man of integrity.
Official Background Information from the Church
Article in the Ensign about Elder Hales.
Story about a fighter pilot that Elder Hales was friends with.
Story about his father shoveling snow to prepare for a visit from an Apostle.
Additionally, I took a class at BYU on the lives of the Apostles. I relied on some documents from that class.