Robert Dean Hales was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 2, 1994, and ordained an apostle on April 7, 1994.He was born on August 24, 1932, to John Rulon and Vera Marie Holbrook Hales in New York City, New York. The gospel was the center of family life for the Hales. Over the years Robert’s father and mother served in various positions in the Queens Ward, located twenty miles from the Hales family home. His parents also served a stake mission. In fact, at one time the entire bishopric consisted of people who had been converted as a result of Robert’s parents’ missionary labors.
Robert D. Hales loved baseball and was an outstanding pitcher. He went on to play for the University of Utah team until an injury ended his career. He earned money for his schooling working full-time for KDYL and KSL television.
He met Mary Elene Crandall at Church in Queens while home from school. In the fall, he returned to the University of Utah, and she went to BYU. They continued dating and were married and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple during his senior year in 1953. Elder and Sister Hales have two sons: Stephen, born in 1955, and David, born in 1958.
Hales earned his master of business administration degree from Harvard and served in the U.S. Air Force as a jet fighter pilot. He has also been an executive with four major national companies.
In the Mormon Church, Elder Hales served as the former first counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, as president of the England London mission, as a regional representative, and in stake presidencies in the United States, England, Germany, and Spain.
Elder Hales was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1976 and served in that position until he became the Presiding Bishop over the entire Church in 1985. He would serve in that capacity until his call to the Twelve.
Elder Hales currently serves on the board for the Church Educational System.