On November 18, 2000, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced that Cougar Stadium would be renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium, honoring the sixth winningest coach in NCAA football history. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
SALT LAKE CITY -- President Gordon B. Hinckley, who led The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through twelve years of global expansion, has died at the age of 97.
President Hinckley was the 15th president in the 177-year history of the Church and had served as its president since 12 March 1995.
The Church president died at his apartment in downtown Salt Lake City at 7:00 p.m. Sunday night from causes incident to age. Members of his family were at his bedside. A successor is not expected to be formally chosen by the Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles until after President Hinckley's funeral within the next few days.
"BYU has been very blessed by its significant association with President Gordon B. Hinckley," said Brigham Young University President Cecil Samuelson. "As long-time chair of the university's board of trustees, he has set the vision for BYU and the high expectations we strive to meet. The magnificent building on campus that bears his name could never be sufficient to match the legacy he has established for us. By having the faith and courage to show the world that great secular learning can be combined with an atmosphere that actively supports faith, President Hinckley has made an indelible mark in higher education, not just within the church, but worldwide."
President Hinckley was known, even at the age of 97, as a tireless leader who always put in a full day at the office and traveled extensively around the world to mix with Church members, now numbering 13 million in 171 nations.
His quick wit and humor, combined with an eloquent style at the pulpit, made him one of the most loved of modern Church leaders. A profoundly spiritual man, he had a great fondness for history and often peppered his sermons with stories from the Church's pioneer past.
President Hinckley married Marjorie Pay in the Salt Lake Temple in 1937. They have five children and 25 grandchildren. Sister Hinckley passed away 6 April 2004.