James O. Mason

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James O. Mason served as a General Authority and a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from April 2, 1994 until October 7, 2000. After his release, he served as president of the Bountiful Utah Temple {2003–2003). He has also served in the Church as a bishop, stake president, regional representative, and full-time missionary to Denmark. In the 1970s, he served on the Aaronic Priesthood MIA General Board.

Mason was born on June 19, 1930, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He began studying engineering at the University of Utah before he served a full-time mission to Denmark. After he concluded his mission, he followed a spiritual impression to study medicine and earned both bachelor’s and medical degrees from the University of Utah. He earned master’s and PhD degrees in public health from Harvard University. He served his internship at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore and, after military service, a residency in internal medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Harvard Medical Service.

In his professional life, he worked at the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, and became its director in 1983. He also worked as Church commissioner of health services and as the first managing director of the Church’s Unified Welfare Services. He also served as executive director of the Utah Department of Health and taught at the University of Utah Medical School. In 1989 the president of the United States asked him to head the U.S. Public Health Service, an appointment that required Senate confirmation. He also served as assistant secretary for health, Acting Surgeon General, and as the American delegate to the World Health Organization. He retired from government service in 1993.

He and his wife, Marie, were the parents of seven children. He died on October 9, 2019.