Robert D. Hales
He was born on August 24, 1932 to John Rulon and Vera Marie Holbrook Hales in New York City, New York. The gospel of Jesus Christ was the center of family life for the Hales. Over the years Robert's father and mother served in various positions in the Queens, New York, congregation of the Mormon Church located twenty miles from the Hales' home. His parents also served a mission. In fact, at one time the entire bishopric was made up of people who had been converted as a result of Robert's parents' missionary labors. While serving in the bishopric, Robert's father would lead work parties with the young men holding the Aaronic Priesthood to clean and beautify the meetinghouse grounds.
Robert D. Hales loved baseball and was an outstanding pitcher. He went on to play for the University of Utah team until an injury ended his career. He earned money for his schooling working full-time for KDYL and KSL television.
He met Mary Elene Crandall at a meeting of the Church in Queens while home from school. In the fall, he returned to the University of Utah and she went to Brigham Young University. They continued dating and were married and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple during his senior year in 1953. Elder Hales and his wife have two sons. Stephen, born in 1955, and David, born in 1958.
Hales earned his master of business administration degree from Harvard; served in the U.S. Air Force as a jet fighter pilot; was an executive with four major national companies.
In the Church, Elder Hales served as the former first counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, president of the England London mission, regional representative, and served in various leadership positions. Some of those positions included, stake president's counselor in the United States, England, Germany and Spain.
Elder Hales was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1976, and served in that position until he became the Presiding Bishop over the entire Mormon Church in 1985. He would serve in that capacity until his call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.