Richard O. Cowan received his doctorate in history at Stanford University in 1961 and joined the religion faculty at Brigham Young University that same year. He therefore has completed more than a half century of teaching at BYU. He has taken a special interest in Latter-day Saint temples and developed a course in that subject. He is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books and numerous articles in the fields of Latter-day Saint history and the Doctrine and Covenants. For more than a decade he chaired the committee producing Gospel Doctrine Sunday School manuals for the Church and currently serves as patriarch in his Provo stake.