“Director of Church Magazines Dies,” Ensign, Jan. 1976, 95
After serving nearly thirty years as a major figure in Church journalism, Doyle L. Green, director and editor of Church magazines, passed away November 23. During the past year he had been in declining health, suffering from cancer. He was sixty.
For twenty-three years, the name of Doyle L. Green was well known throughout the Church as managing editor of the Improvement Era. He joined the staff as assistant managing editor in 1947 after an invitation to do so from Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Council of the Twelve and President George Albert Smith. In 1950 he replaced Elder Richard L. Evans as managing editor; he served in that position until 1970. He helped guide the growth of the Improvement Era from a circulation of 80,000 in 1950 to 280,000 in 1970, when the new Church magazines were organized.
As a prelude to the new magazines program, he served on a committee with then Elder Spencer W. Kimball and Elder Howard W. Hunter. This committee recommended the creation of three Church publications—the Friend for children, the New Era for youth aged twelve–eighteen, and the Ensign for adults. When the new publications were created, he was named director and editor of the three magazines.
During a period of several years, prior to the formation of the Internal Communications Department in 1972, Brother Green served as director of all Church publications. He established the central Church editing and graphics departments and directed the work of editing, designing, and publishing all Church handbooks and manuals, as well as magazines.
In his last assignment, that of director and editor of Church magazines, he well fulfilled the charge to ensure that the new magazines succeeded in their early years. Circulation of the three publications is now 158,000 for the Friend, 150,000 for the New Era, and 393,000 for the Ensign. There are subscribers in 131 nations.
He held a special fondness for the Saints in the Pacific, gained from his mission to Tahiti in 1936–39, and for the Holy Land. He was well known for his In the Footsteps of Jesus, a photographic publication on the Holy Land, and his Journeys and Ministry of Jesus the Christ. He authored five books, of which Meet the Mormons is presently his best-known work. It is used by thousands of missionaries and by members throughout the world as they introduce the Church to their friends.
To have produced a work that could be used by the Church in this manner greatly humbled him and is a fitting memorial to a gentleman whose great love was the gospel, its truths, and its leaders. He devotedly, unstintingly, and with impressive personal dedication served the leaders of the Church. For twenty-two years he was a member of the general board of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, and since 1972, had served as a stake patriarch. In a statement prepared for the press at his death, those who worked with him said: “We trusted his judgments. We respected his craftsmanship. We admired his courage. We loved his good spirit and subtle humor. We were warmed by his kindness and sense of fairness. We look forward to a warm reunion.”
The February Ensign will include a historical look at Church periodicals, with special emphasis on the Doyle L. Green era.