Harold Bingham Lee was the eleventh president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was ordained president on 7 July 1972 and served until his death on 26 December 1973. This 538-day tenure is the shortest service by a Mormon Church president in history, this despite the fact that when he assumed the office at age seventy-three he was the youngest president of the church in nearly forty years. His major contributions to the church, as the first managing director of its welfare program and later as the organizer of the church correlation program, were made when he was still serving as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
He was born on 28 March 1899 in Clifton, Oneida County, Idaho, to Samuel Marion Lee and Louisa Emeline Bingham. He was the second son in a family of six children, growing up in impoverished, rural conditions. He started school a year earlier than was the normal practice in his farming community because he could already write his name and knew the alphabet. As a young boy he was large for his age, and when his friends were ordained to the Mormon priesthood, he became a deacon also, although technically he was not old enough for the honor.