Reed Benson

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Reed A. Benson was a professor of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University and is remembered for his advocacy of homeschooling, his extreme political conservatism, and his affiliation with the John Birch Society.

Benson was born on January 2, 1928, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was raised in Idaho and Washington, D.C. His father, Ezra Taft Benson was president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Reed Benson served in the Church of Jesus Christ in various leadership capacities including branch presidency, district presidency, director of Seminaries and Institutes, and president of the Kentucky Louisville Mission. He served a full-time mission in both the British Isles and the Eastern States.

He was also an Air Force Chaplain during the Korean War. He was also appointed Confidential Assistant to the National Veterans' Administrator. For years he wrote for national news magazines, lectured widely on civic and political matters, and gave numerous television interviews and press conferences.

Benson held a doctorate degree in education, a master’s in communication, and a bachelor’s degree in political science and history, all from BYU. He wrote one of the nation's first dissertations on homeschooling and is considered a pioneer of and advocate for the homeschool movement. Each of his nine children were homeschooled. In 2001 Benson and his wife, May Hinckley Benson, were honored with the Elijah Award for their contribution to the advancement of homeschooling.

Benson was a member of the John Birch Society in the 1960s and was appointed Utah coordinator. In 1963, he was appointed coordinator for the southern counties of Idaho. In 1964, he became the Birch Society coordinator in Washington, D.C., and eventually the national director of public relations.

He died on August 24, 2016.