Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Note on the Passing of W. Cleon Skousen

In Memory

W. Cleon Skousen, a favorite writer and intellectual of the LDS right, passed away January 9th only 11 days shy of his 93rd birthday. Skousen was born in Raymond Alberta on January 20th 1913 and grew up in Canada, Mexico, and California. After a church mission to Great Britain in the early 30's, Skousen attended San Bernadino Jr. College, where he was elected class president. After graduation Cleon moved to Washington D.C. were he eventually ended up working for the FBI. Skousen would spend 16 years at the Bureau and would work closely with its long time chief J. Edger Hoover.

In 1936 Skousen married his wife of 68 years Jewel Pitcher, the couple would have 8 children and today have well over a hundred descendents. Skousen left the FBI in 1951 to take a teaching position at BYU, he would hold that position until 1956 when he would take a break from the institution to serve as the police chief of Salt Lake City (1956-60) and then go on a national lecture tour after the success of his book The Naked Communist. Skousen returned to BYU in 1967 to lecture on law and in 1972 founded the Freeman institute, later to be renamed the National Center for Constitutional Studies.

In addition to his legal work Skousen became a noted defender of LDS beliefs and a literalistic reading of scripture. Perhaps his most famous work in this vain is The First 2000 years and the series of similarly titled books that followed it. With the death of Hugh Nibley last year at the age of 94, Skousens passing marks the end of an era for the Mormon scholarly community.


At 10:19 PM, Blogger GlennBeckFan said...

I didn't know the guy who wrote The Naked Communist was LDS, cool. I didn't know anything about it's author until I read this post, but at least I'd heard of it.


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