President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
2nd Counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS Church
February 4, 2008
Salt Lake City -- Dieter F. Uchtdorf is the 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is the first person not born in the United States to serve in the First Presidency since President John Taylor in the 19th century.
President Dieter Friedrich Uchtdorf had been called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 2 October 2004. He has served as a General Authority since April 1994, and served as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy from August 2002 until he received his current calling.
President Uchtdorf was born on 6 November 1940 in then Mahrisch, Czechoslovakia, to Karl Albert and Hildegard Else Opelt Uchtdorf. He was raised in Zwickau, Germany, where his family joined the Church in 1947.
He studied engineering and later continued his education in business administration in Cologne, Germany, and international management in Lausanne, Switzerland. President Uchtdorf joined the German air force in 1959 and received his pilot wings in Big Spring, Texas, and fighter pilot training in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 1965, President Uchtdorf joined Lufthansa German Airlines as a pilot. He worked as an airline captain from 1970 to 1996, flying multiple types of airplanes and completing his career flying the B747. He held several executive positions, including head of the airline pilot school, director of in-flight services, and head of cockpit crews. At the time of his call as a General Authority, he was the senior vice president of flight operations and chief pilot of Lufthansa German Airlines. He was also chairman of the Flight Operations Committee of the International Air Transport Association. He has served as a board member for several government and business executive committees.
President Uchtdorf married Harriet Reich on 14 December 1962. They are the parents of two children and have six grandchildren. Since his call as an apostle, President and Sister Uchtdorf now have their permanent home in the United States.
President and Sister Uchtdorf love to travel. They have visited most parts of the world. They enjoy hiking, dancing, classical music, and spending time with their children and grandchildren, who all live in Europe.