George Albert Smith, Eighth President of the Church
George Albert Smith was born on April 4, 1870, in Salt Lake City. His father, John Henry Smith, and grandfather, George A. Smith, had both been counselors to Church Presidents. While employed in the Federal Land Office for Utah, he was called at the age of 33 to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Despite fragile health and impaired eyesight, he had a distinguished career as a Church leader. He became President of the Church on May 21, 1945. He organized the Church’s massive welfare assistance to Europe following World War II. He also championed Scouting among Latter-day Saints. Through numerous other civic and Church responsibilities, President Smith lived that portion of his personal creed that declared, "I would be a friend to the friendless and find joy in ministering to the needs of the poor" (in Bryant S. Hinckley, “Greateness in Men: Superintendent George Albert Smith,” Improvement Era, Mar. 1932, 295). After six years as President, George Albert Smith died in Salt Lake City on his 81st birthday, April 4, 1951.