Elder Hales received his call as a General Authority on 4 April 1975. He served as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and later as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He was Presiding Bishop of the Church from April, 1985 until called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
He was a Regional Representative for five years prior to his call as a General Authority. He earlier served as a branch president, bishop, high councilor, and stake president’s counselor. He was president of the England London Mission in the late 1970s and has served as first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency.
Hales was born in New York City and raised in Queens. He is the son of John Rulon Hales, an artist who worked in advertising primarily, and his wife, Vera Marie Holbrook. Hales received degrees from the University of Utah and Harvard Business School and was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He married Mary Crandall, whom he met as a college sophomore, in the Salt Lake Temple on June 10, 1953. They are the parents of two sons.
During his professional business career, Hales served in executive positions with four major national companies. After joining the Gillette Co., he became president of Papermate, a division of Gillette. He joined Max Factor as a vice president, and later headed the Hughes Television Network. Just prior to his call to be a general authority, Hales was president of Chesebrough-Pond’s.
Elder Hales died Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, of causes incident to age, passing peacefully at the hospital surrounded by his wife and family at 12:15 this afternoon. He was 85.