Ezra Taft Benson Edit Profile
He attended Utah State Agricultural College, Brigham Young University, and Iowa State College, where he received an M. S. degree in agricultural economics in 1927.
He later served as executive secretary of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (1939 - 1944) and as a member of the board of trustees of the American Institute of Cooperatives (1942 - 1952). He was President Dwight D. Eisenhower's secretary of agriculture from 1953 to 1961. His efforts at that time to alter the price support system were controversial. Benson was also a Mormon leader. He was elected to the church's Council of the Twelve Apostles in 1943 and became president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1985, a position he held until his death. Before he assumed the presidency, Benson was noted for his right-wing stands, speaking out against the civil rights and women's movements. Church membership increased from about six million to almost nine million under his stewardship, expanding into West Africa, Eastern Europe, and Russia. Benson died at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, on May 30, 1994.
Benson was a lifelong supporter of Scouting. He started in 1918 as assistant Scoutmaster. On May 23, 1949, he was elected a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America. He received the three highest national awards in the Boy Scouts of America—the Silver Beaver, the Silver Antelope, and the Silver Buffalo—as well as world Scouting's international award, the Bronze Wolf.
In 1929 he married Flora Smith Amussen. They had 6 children.