Potomac Fever: Continuing Quest for the U.S. Presidency
Harris, Matthew L.
Thunder from the Right: Ezra Taft Benson in Mormonism and Politics
University of Illinois Press
"Some four decades before Mitt Romney ran for president, another prominent Mormon, Ezra Taft Benson sought the nation's highest office. Benson's quest commenced in 1960 and continued into the turbulent decade that followed. Most Latter-day Saints remember Benson as a longtime ecclesiastical leader, first appointed to the church's elite Quorum of the Twelve in 1943. He was ultimately elevated to the denomination's highest office, LDS church president, in 1985, serving until his death in 1994. Concurrently active in the political arena, he gained national recognition as secretary of agriculture under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. At the same time, Benson retained his church position on the Council of Twelve, though granted a leave of absence. During his eight-year tenure as agriculture secretary from 1953 to 1961, the Mormon apostle interacted with fellow conservatives both within and outside government." [from author]