Spencer W. Kimball

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Spencer Woolley Kimball (March 28, 1895-November 5, 1985) headed The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormons, from 1973 until his death in 1985. His grandfather, Heber C. Kimball, was one of the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the church and then First Counselor in the First Presidency to second church president Brigham Young.

Kimball had not been expected to succeed to the Presidency of the church, as Harold B. Lee, coincidentally born on Kimball's fourth birthday, was named an Apostle two years before him, and succession is by seniority. However, Lee died suddenly in December, 1973 after a presidency of a year and a half and Kimball, as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, assumed the church presidency.

Kimball's presidency is remembered for a variety of accomplishments as the church continued its rapid growth worldwide, his 1978 declaration that the priesthood should now be conferred on all worthy male members without regard to race or color, and rapid expansion of the church's missionary program.

In the 1980s Kimball's health declined and the burdens of the presidency were increasingly shouldered by Gordon B. Hinckley. Following his death, Kimball was succeeded by Ezra Taft Benson as president of the church.

Kimball was born and raised in Southeastern Arizona in the United States. He lived in the town of Safford, Arizona, where he owned and operated a prosperous insurance business before he was called as an Apostle in the church in 1943.


Preceded by:
Harold B. Lee
President of the LDS Church
December 30, 1973November 5, 1985
Succeeded by:
Ezra Taft Benson
Preceded by:
Harold B. Lee
President of the
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

July 7, 1972December 30, 1973
Succeeded by:
Ezra Taft Benson

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