Born in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in 1940, Elder Uchtdorf’s family fled war-torn Eastern Europe, eventually settling in Frankfurt, Germany, following World War II. In 1959, Elder Uchtdorf joined the German Air Force and served as a fighter pilot. In 1965, he began working for Lufthansa German Airlines as a pilot, eventually becoming head of all cockpit crews, and finally senior vice president of flight operations and Lufthansa chief pilot.
Elder Uchtdorf has served as a Church General Authority since 1994. He was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 2004. He was called as second counselor in the Church’s First Presidency in 2008 and served in that position until 2018. He and Harriet Reich married in 1962. They have two children, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. With his call as an Apostle, the Uchtdorfs left their homeland and now live permanently in the United States.
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