LDS historian Van Wagoner dies at 64

by | Oct. 12, 2010

Mormons We Know

Richard S. Van Wagoner, author of many works on early Mormon history, has died. He was 64.

His daughter, Jenny Woods, said Van Wagoner died unexpectedly Sunday evening at home. She said he didn't feel well after doing some yard work and had gone to bed early.

"He was passionate about all types of learning," Woods said. "He loved music and he especially loved his family."

Van Wagoner was a clinical audiologist by profession and ironically lost his hearing due to otosclerosis about 30 years ago. His hearing was partially restored in 2001 with a cochlear implant.

He was best known for his books on the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His book, "Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess," won awards from the John Whitmer Historical Association and the Mormon History Association. Other works include "Mormon Polygamy: A History," "A Book of Mormons" (co-authored with Steven C. Walker), and the five-volume "The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young" all of which were published by Signature Books.
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