THE CHIEF: An Administrative Biography of Fred M. Smith

by Paul M. Edwards

Frederick Madison Smith remains one of the most controversial figures in Reorganization history. He appears to be remembered primarily as the man behind "supreme directional control." His most controversial Conference—1925—is recalled as the epitome of internal struggles in the Church. Despite this controversy, there has not been a great deal written about him.

This is written as an administrative biography with primary attention given to the presidency of Fred M. While I feel it is impossible to separate his years as president from his own personal life, a separation occurs simply by virtue of concentrating the limited space on administrative affairs. Fred M.'s thirty-one-year presidency was a highly significant period. It was, in many ways, complicated and paradoxical.