Genealogists owe much to the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). The Church collects millions of records of interest to genealogists and then makes the records available to all, regardless of religious affiliation. One of the "friends" of non-Mormon genealogists over the years has been the president of the LDS Church, Gordon B. Hinckley. He has now passed away. Hinckley was 97 years old and served as church president since 1995 - and was very active in the acceleration of the genealogy work.
Under Hinckley's management, the Family History Library developed and went live with the now familiar www.familysearch.org site. That site is now the most popular genealogy site on the World Wide Web and even one of the most popular sites ever, regardless of topic. Most web ratings list www.familysearch.org in the top fifty or so web sites in terms of popularity. The result was more genealogy-related records available to more people than ever before.
Details of Gordon B. Hinckley death and his long career may be found at: http://www.newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/
and in the Salt Lake paper at: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695247765,00.html.