This week in Church history


President Harold Bingham Lee, 11th president of the Church, passed away in Salt Lake City on Dec. 26, 1973. He had served as president since July 7, 1972, succeeding President Joseph Fielding Smith.President Spencer W. Kimball, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, became president of the Church, it was reported in the Dec. 29, 1973, Church News.

President Lee, 74, died about 9 p.m. in LDS Hospital.

The news report stated: "He had been admitted to the hospital for what was described as a routine physical examination. The brief announcement from the hospital said he died from lung and heart arrest."

President Lee served the shortest time as president of the Church up to that point. His counselors were President N. Eldon Tanner and President Marion G. Romney.

He was born in Clifton, Idaho, to Samuel M. and Louisa Bingham Lee. In 1923 he married Fern Lucinda Tanner who died in 1962. In 1963, he married Freda Joan Jensen.

President Heber J. Grant ordained him an apostle on April 10, 1941.

The Church News article said: "Always active in the Church, he fulfilled many assignments, and in 1929 was called as a counselor in the presidency of the Pioneer Stake in Salt Lake City.

"The following year he was called as president of the stake at the age of 31, then the youngest stake president in the Church."

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