William G. Hartley

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William G. Hartley was an historian of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which he was a member. He was a prolific writer, having written fifteen books, more than 120 articles, and co-edited three volumes of the Joseph Smith Papers. He received five best book awards and four best article awards from professional associations.

Hartley was born on February 10, 1942, and raised in Butte, Montana, and the San Francisco Bay Area. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ in the Eastern States and Cumorah missions. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University and did doctoral work at Washington State University.

He began working for the Church History Department in 1972 and served for a time as a director of the James H. Moyle oral history project. In 1980, he transferred to the newly created Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History at BYU and was appointed associate professor of history. He also served as director of the BYU Family History and Genealogy Research Center. He taught at BYU and its Salt Lake Center and taught at the Church’s Institute of Religion located adjacent to the University of Utah.

He was a president of the Mormon History Association (2000–2001), the founding president of the Mormon Trails Association, was awarded the Leonard J. Arrington Award for a lifetime of distinguished contributions to Mormon history, and has had two annual research prizes named in his honor. 

He died April 10, 2018. He and his wife, Linda Lee Perry, have six children.