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Ezra Taft Taft Benson

Ezra Taft Benson, American church executive, former secretary of agriculture. Recipient testimonial for distinguished service to agriculture University Wisconsin, 1952; scholarship Gamma Sigma Delta, honorary society agriculture Iowa State College; fellow University California, Berkeley.


  • Benson, Ezra Taft was born on August 4, 1899 in Whitney, Idaho, United States. Son of George Taft and Sarah (Dunkley) Benson.

  • Education

    • Student, Utah State Agricultural College, Logan, 1921. Bachelor of Science, Brigham Young University, 1926. Doctor Public Service (honorary), Brigham Young University, 1955.

      Master of Science in Agricultural Economics, Iowa State College, 1927. Doctor Agricultural (honorary), Iowa State College, 1953. Postgraduate, University California, 1938.

      HHD, College Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, 1951. Doctor of Laws, University Utah, 1953. Doctor of Laws, Bowdoin College, 1955.

      Doctor of Laws, University Maine, 1956. Doctor Agriculture (honorary), Michigan State College, 1955. Doctor of Science (honorary), Rutgers University, 1955.


    • Mission Church Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, British Isles and Europe, president Newcastle district, 1921-1923. Farm operator, 1923-1930. County agricultural agent University Idaho Extension Service, Preston, 1929-1930.

      Extension economist and marketing specialist in charge economic and marketing work State of Idaho, 1930-1938. Organizer, secretary Idaho Cooperative Council, 1933-1938. Executive secretary National Council Farmer Cooperatives, 1939-1944.

      Member executive committee, board trustees American Institute Co-op, 1942-1952, vice chairman board trustees, 1942-1949, chairman, 1952. Secretary agriculture United States Department Agriculture, Washington, 1953-1961. Director Olson Brothers, Inc.

      Board directors Farm Foundation, 1946-1950. Member National Agricultural Advisory Committee, World World War II. Member National Farm Credit Committee, 1940-1943.

      United States delegate 1st International Conference of Farm Organizations, London, 1946.


    Denomination: Mormon


    Member national executive board Boy Scouts American, 1948-1966, awarded Silver Antelope, 1951, Silver Buffalo award, 1954. Member Boise Stake Presidency, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Idaho, 1935-1939, president Boise Stake, 1938-1939. President Washington District Council, Eastern States Mission, 1939-1940, Washington Stake, 1940-1944.

    Ordained apostle of Church, member Council of Twelve, 1943, president European Mission, 1946, 63-65, member General Church Board Education. President Church Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, 1985-1994. Branch trustees Brigham Young University.

    Member American Marketing Association, Farm Economics Association, Delta Nu, Alpha Zeta.


    • Married Flora Smith Amussen, September 10, 1926. Children: Reed, Mark, Barbara, Beverly, Bonnie, Flora Beth.
    • father: George Taft Benson
    • mother: Sarah (Dunkley) Benson
    • spouse: Flora Smith Amussen
    • children: Reed Benson
    • Mark Benson
    • Barbara Benson
    • Beverly Benson
    • Bonnie Benson
    • Flora Beth Benson
    Ezra Taft Benson
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    Born August 4, 1899
    Died May 30, 1994
    (aged 94)
    • 1927
      Iowa State College
    • 1929 - 1938
      agricultural agent and an extension economist and marketing specialist, University of Idaho Extension Service
    • 1933 - 1938
      organizer and secretary, Idaho Cooperative Council
    • 1939 - 1944
      executive secretary, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
    • 1942 - 1952
      member of the board of trustees, American Institute of Cooperatives
    • 1943
      church's Council of the Twelve Apostles
    • 1953 - 1961
      secretary of agriculture, President Dwight D. Eisenhower's
    • 1985
      president, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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