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LDS Church
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Some important events in Elder Robert D. Hales’ life:

Aug. 24, 1932 — Born Robert Dean Hales in New York City to John Rulon and Vera Marie Holbrook Hales. He was their third and last child.

1950 — Graduated from Great Neck (N.Y.) High School.

June 10, 1953 — Married Mary Elene Crandall in the Salt Lake Temple.

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Robert and Mary Elene Crandall Hales on their wedding day in 1953. Hales Family Photo

1954 — Received bachelor's degree in business administration and communications from the University of Utah.

1954-58 — Lived in Florida as an Air Force jet fighter pilot. During this time his and his wife's two sons were born.

1956 — Sustained as president of the Albany (Georgia) Branch.

1960 — Received master of business administration degree from the Harvard Business School. At the same time he served as elders quorum president.

1960 — Joined the Gillette Co.

Jan. 8, 1961 — Sustained as president of the Wayland Branch, New England Mission.

1961 — Sustained as president of the Weston (Massachusetts) Branch. Sustained as bishop when Weston Ward was organized on May 20, 1962.

Sept. 22, 1963 — Sustained to the Boston Stake High Council.

Sept. 20, 1964 — Sustained as second counselor in the Boston Stake presidency.

Sept. 4, 1966 — Sustained to the London (England) Stake high council.

June 2, 1968 — Sustained as president of the Frankfurt American Branch.

Oct. 30, 1968 — Sustained as bishop of the Frankfurt (Germany) Ward.

January 1969 — Named general manager of Gillette in Spain.

1969 — Sustained as first counselor in the branch presidency of the Seville (Spain) Branch.

January 1970 — Appointed president of Papermate, a division of the Gillette Co.

April 26, 1970 — Sustained as bishop of the North Shore (Chicago) Ward.

September 1970 — Called as a regional representative to the Minnesota and Louisiana regions.

September 1971 — Named corporate vice president of Max Factor & Co.

April 4, 1975 — Sustained as an Assistant to the Twelve.

April 5, 1975 — Gave first general conference address, on the topic of agency.

Oct. 1, 1976 — Sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy.

1978-79 — Served as president of the England London Mission.

1979 — Assigned as area supervisor in Europe, where he worked closely with Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Quorum of the Twelve.

July 1981 — Became first counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency. Served until July 1985.

April 6, 1985 — Sustained as presiding bishop.

July 1987 — Appointed to State Board of Regents.

April 2, 1994 — Sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve, where he filled a vacancy left by the death of Elder Marvin J. Ashton.

Elder Jeffery R. Holland and Elder Robert D. Hales congratulate Elder Henry B. Eyring at end of Saturday morning session. Eyring was the new Apostle. Photo by Stuart Johnson. (Submission date: 10/11/2002)

April 7, 1994 — Ordained an apostle.

June 10, 1994 — Received honorary doctorate of humane letters from University of Utah and gave commencement address.

Feb. 7, 2002 — Carried the Olympic torch to the Church Administration Building before the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Aug. 14, 2003 — Received honorary doctorate of Christian service from Brigham Young University and gave commencement address.

June 2010 — His first book, "Return: Four Phases of Our Mortal Journey Home," was published.

August 2010 — Attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia.

Jeffrey D. Allred
Elder Robert D. Hales shakes hands with boy scouts after 3500 LDS scouts and leaders attended sacrament meeting outdoors at the National Scout Jamboree in Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

2011 — Missed speaking during the April general conference because of health reasons, but was present and spoke at the October conference.

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April 5, 2015 — At general conference, spoke on protecting religious freedoms in a year that witnessed important religious freedom legislation passed in Utah.

June 26, 2015 — Spoke at the 2015 Seminar for New Mission Presidents, along with his wife, Sister Mary Hales, about how faith and obedience protect missionaries from the adversary.

April 1, 2017 — At general conference, spoke on becoming a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.

July 2017 — Received the Pioneers of Progress President's Award, sponsored by the Days of '47, Inc.

October 1, 2017 — Died at age 85, passing away peacefully at the hospital, surrounded by his wife and family.