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Howard W. Hunter Playing with His Band + Other Priceless Photos That Will Make You Love Him Even More

As a supplement to this year's Relief Society and Priesthood lessons from the life of President Howard W. Hunter, the Church History department has created an online photo gallery and timeline about the life of this wonderful prophet. Here are some photographic highlights and facts about Howard Hunter that you might not have known, ones that will help you love him even more.

You'll also like: President Hunter's Surprising Response to a Bomb Threat

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Born on November 14, 1907, in Boise, Idaho, Howard W. Hunter was the oldest of his siblings. He came from a family with mixed religious backgrounds, his mother was an active Latter-day Saint but his father didn't convert to the Church until Howard was 19. In fact, his father didn't allow President Hunter to get baptised until he was 12 years old.

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Shortly after his baptism, Howard was ordained a deacon and was put in charge of starting a fire early on Sunday mornings to warm the chapel. He was also the second person in Idaho to become an Eagle Scout.

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Howard Hunter was an avid music lover. He played the piano, violin, drums, saxophone, clarinet, and trumpet. As a young man, he formed a dance band, Hunter's Croonaders, that played in the Boise area and on a cruise ship to Asia. 

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On June 8, 1928, Howard Hunter's life changed forever when a friend introduced him to Clara Jeffs at a young adult dance in California. “Attracted to her at once, Howard said to Claire: ‘Why don’t you ever go out with me?’ She said, ‘Why don’t you ask me?’ Soon she and Howard began dating. They became engaged early in 1931 and were married [in the Salt Lake Temple] on June 10 that year” (Faust, “The Way of an Eagle,” 7).

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Besides his extensive leadership as an apostle and prophet, Howard Hunter also served in several other Church assignments. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the New World Archaeology Foundation, a member of the Board of Trustees of BYU, a chairman of the board of the Polynesian Cultural Center, and president of the Genealogical Society of Utah.

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Howard W. Hunter had three sons, William, who died shortly after birth, and Richard and John, who both followed in their father's footsteps and became lawyers. This photo is of then Elder Hunter playing with two of his granddaughters.

Images from LDS Church History.

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Learn more about the life of this beloved prophet with Howard W. Hunter: Man of Thought and Independence, Prophet of God.