Leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1974, he became a member of the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
After working in Chicago as a Mormon missionary, he served in World War II as a member of the United States Marine Corps.
He studied finance at Utah State University.
He was born in Logan, Utah to devout Mormon parents. His ancestor, Gustavus Adolphus Perry, was an early Utah settler.
He and Utah-born artist Mahonri Young were both the descendants of Mormon pioneers.