“President Gordon B. Hinckley Becomes Oldest Church President,” Ensign, Jan. 2007, 76
In November 2006 President Gordon B. Hinckley became the oldest President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
President Hinckley was born June 23, 1910, in Salt Lake City, Utah. On November 3, 2006, President Hinckley was 96 years and 133 days old, surpassing President David O. McKay, who died at 96 years and 132 days on January 18, 1970.
During the October 2006 general conference of the Church, President Hinckley said: “If I last a few months longer, I will have served to an older age than any previous President. I do not say this to be boastful but rather grateful. … The Lord has permitted me to live; I do not know for how long. But whatever the time, I shall continue to give my best to the task at hand” (“The Faith to Move Mountains,” Ensign, Nov. 2006, 82).
President Hinckley was set apart as the 15th President of the Church on Sunday, March 12, 1995. On January 20, President Hinckley will pass President Spencer W. Kimball as the fifth longest-serving President of the Church, having served for 11 years, 10 months, and 8 days.
Brigham Young had the longest tenure as President, with 29 years, followed by President Heber J. Grant with 27 years. President McKay was prophet for 19 years and President Joseph F. Smith for 17 years.
Prior to his call as President of the Church, President Hinckley had served 14 years as a counselor in the First Presidency and for 20 years prior to that as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. President Hinckley was named to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 5, 1961.
His Church service has been extensive. He was called as a member of the Sunday School general board in 1937, two years after returning home from missionary service in Great Britain. For 20 years he directed all Church public communications. In 1951 he was named executive secretary of the General Missionary Committee, managing the entire missionary program of the Church for seven years. He was president of the East Millcreek Stake in Salt Lake City at the time of his calling on April 6, 1958, as a General Authority in the capacity of an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.