Starting with the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and followed closely by Mitt Romney's 2008 and 2012 U.S. presidential campaigns, heightened media coverage of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members led to what many in the media referred to as the "Mormon moment." Today, there are more than 15 million Mormons worldwide. Some of them are people you will recognize--but may be surprised to learn are Mormons. What follows is our list of 12 well-known Mormons who have been in the spotlight in sports, music, writing, and politics.
1. Jabari Parker is a freshman basketball phenom at Duke University this season, only the fourth freshman in Duke history to score 30 points in a single game, and tied for the second highest number of 20-point games by a freshman in ACC history.
2. Noelle Pikus-Pace was a silver medalist in skeleton in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Her story of overcoming adversity and her celebratory rush into the stands to join her husband and children after her final run became major story lines in this year’s Olympic games.
3. David Archuleta was runner-up on the seventh season of American Idol in 2008 and sold over 1 million copies of his albums before leaving to serve as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chile in March 2012.
4. Gladys Knight is a seven-time Grammy Award winning recording artist and songwriter who became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1997 and performed at President Gordon B. Hinckley’s 90th birthday celebration in 2000.
5. Brandon Flowers is the lead singer of the Las Vegas-based rock band The Killers, whose 2010 solo album Flamingo charted in the top ten albums in ten countries including the U.K. where it charted at number one.
6. Stephanie Meyer is the author of the popular Twilight book series that has sold over 100 million copies and spawned a movie series. Time magazine named Meyer one of the 100 Most Influential People in 2008.
7. Jimmer Fredette is a professional basketball player with the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and was the leading scorer in NCAA Division 1 basketball during his 2010-2011 senior season at Brigham Young University, earning every major Player of the Year honor.
8. Torah Bright is a professional snowboarder from Australia who competed in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. In 2010, she became only the fourth Australian in history to win gold at a Winter Olympics; she took silver in Sochi in 2014.
9. Glenn Beck is a politically conservative, outspoken radio and television host, author, commentator, and television producer.
10. Senator Harry Reid has served as a Democratic U.S. senator from the state of Nevada since 1987 and as U.S. Senate Majority Leader since January 2007.
11. Mia Love, former mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, spoke at the 2012 Republican national convention after which she narrowly lost her race for U.S. House of Representatives in Utah’s 4th district. She is running for the same office in 2014.
12. Steve Young played professional football for 14 seasons in the NFL, earning league MVP honors in 1992 and 1994 and MVP of Super Bowl XXIX.