Lawrence R. Flake, Prophets and Apostles of the Last Dispensation (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2001), 341–44.
Born: 23 February 1861, Farmington, Utah
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: 9 April 1906 (age 45)
Acting Patriarch to the Church: 3 October 1937 to 3 October 1942
President of the Quorum of the Twelve: 21 May 1945
Died: 8 August 1950 (age 89), Salt Lake City, Utah
More than any other characteristics, Brother George F. Richards personified those of exactness and honor. One of his sons, LeGrand, tells of going to a mill on behalf of his father, where a new miller from out of town refused to extend credit to him. LeGrand asked him to check with the owner of the mill. The new miller did so and a few days later reported to the boy that his boss had said, “The next time one of those sons of George F. Richards comes to this mill, if he wants the mill, get out and give it to him.”  George F. Richards was so honest that he was known to go back around the block to stop for a red light he had accidentally run. One writer described this quality in this way: “George F. Richards’ life has . . . no equivocating when there was a choice to be made between right and expediency, no yielding to insidious influences, . . . no deserting of ideals.” 
The son of apostle Franklin Dewey Richards, George learned to work hard and supported his mother and brothers and sisters by hauling wood with a yoke of oxen and trading it for wheat and molasses. He sold enough wood to procure all the materials and hire a mason to help him build two rooms onto his mother’s house. In 1882 he married Alice Almira Robinson from Farmington, his home town. Together they had ten daughters and five sons. All of the sons served missions for the Church and all of his children married in the temple. One son, LeGrand, was chosen to be an apostle. Brother Richards’s family, well known as a model family, was one of his greatest contributions to the kingdom of God.
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, ca. 1947–50. Front row, left to right: Joseph Fielding Smith, President George F. Richards, John A. Widtsoe. Back row, left to right: Ezra Taft Benson, Harold B. Lee, Albert E. Bowen, Joseph F. Merrill, Mark E. Peterson, Henry D. Moyle, and Spencer W. Kimball
Ordained an elder at the age of only fifteen, Brother Richards served the Lord in numerous capacities. He was a counselor in the Tooele Stake presidency for sixteen years and became a patriarch at age thirty-two. He was ordained an apostle in April 1906, served on the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association general board for nine years, and was president of the European Mission during the difficult years of World War I from 1916 to 1919. He served as president of the Salt Lake Temple, as acting patriarch to the Church for five years, and in 1945 he became the president of the Quorum of the Twelve. Besides laboring in these Church callings, he was a successful farmer and had a lumber and hardware business in Tooele. He served the community in many ways, including being on the school board and serving as a member of the state legislature.
Brother Richards had a life of great worth to his credit. His rare combination of a deep sense of honor and right and a mellow, tender disposition prompted a friend to write: “For soundness of character, kindness of heart, clearness of comprehension, and steadfastness of purpose George F. Richards stands without a superior in Israel. He belongs to the nobility of God.” 
 LeGrand Richards, Just to Illustrate (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1961), 11.
 Bryant S. Hinckley, “George Franklin Richards,” Improvement Era, April 1932, 327.
 Bryant S. Hinckley, “The President of the Quorum of the Twelve. . . George Franklin Richards,” Improvement Era, July 1945, 424.