Thomas S. Monson, president of Mormon church, dies at 90

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Thomas S. Monson, the 16th president of the Mormon church, has died after overseeing the religion for nearly a decade. He was 90.

Monson died Tuesday night at his home in Salt Lake City, according to church spokesman Eric Hawkins.

Monson spent more than five decades serving in top church leadership councils – making him a well-known face and personality to multiple generations of Mormons.

A church bishop at the age of 22, the Salt Lake City native became the youngest church apostle ever in 1963 at the age of 36. He served as a counselor for three church presidents before assuming the role of the top leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February 2008.

As president of the nearly 16-million member religion, Monson was considered a prophet who led the church through revelation from God in collaboration with two top counselors and members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

The next president was not immediately named, but the job is expected to go to the next longest-tenured member of the church's governing Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Russell M. Nelson, per church protocol.

Monson's presidency was marked by his noticeably low profile during a time of intense publicity for the church, including the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of Mormon Mitt Romney. Monson's most public acts were appearances at church conferences and devotionals as well as dedications of church temples.

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