President Russell M. Nelson is now the oldest President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Russell Marion Nelson was born September 9, 1924, in Salt Lake City, the son of Marion C. and Edna Anderson Nelson. On Thursday, April 14, 2022, President Nelson is 97 years, seven months and six days old — surpassing President Gordon B. Hinckley, who died on January 27, 2008, at the age of 97 years, seven months and five days.
President Nelson was set apart as the 17th President of the Church on January 14, 2018, after serving 34 years in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In addition to his service as an Apostle, President Nelson is known for his long and esteemed medical career.
President Nelson is only the second prophet — the first being Joseph Fielding Smith — to be called as President of the Church while over the age of 90.
Sustained and ordained an Apostle in April 1984, President Nelson visited 133 countries — dedicating 31 of those countries — during his 34 years as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He was president of that quorum from July 2015 until becoming Church President, and he served as chairman of each of the Church’s three governing committees — the Missionary Executive Council, the Temple and Family History Executive Council and the Priesthood and Family Executive Council.
He married Dantzel White in 1945; they are the parents of 10 children. She passed away in 2005, just shy of their 60th wedding anniversary. In 2006, he married Wendy L. Watson, who has been at his side since in his ministries as Apostle and then Church President.
Graduating first in his class from medical school at age 22, he received doctoral degrees from the University of Utah and University of Minnesota. A cardiothoracic surgeon, he helped pioneer the development of the artificial heart-lung machine, a means of supporting a patient’s circulation during open-heart surgery.
Learn more about President Nelson in the article “President Nelson Is Now the Oldest President of the Church.”