As where all of the U.S Presidents who died prior to the late 1800's. As were all of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. A lot of famous people were Mormons, even Christoher Columbus. Of course it wasn't by choice, at least not while they were living. The revelation that Barack Obama's mother had been posthumously baptised into the LDS Church prompted an article in the Salt Lake Tribune about other famous people who have been baptised by proxy into the Church. My own status in the LDS Church is in no man's land. Although I was never very active in the Church because their beliefs were a bit much for me to swallow, Prop 8 gave me a serious case of the ass against them. Although not gay myself, I fail to see how it's any of the Church's bussiness if gays want to marry. I sent in my letter of resignation a couple of days after Prop 8 passed and they still haven't taken my name off the membership rolls. Now I've really got the ass.
Just what is baptism of the dead all about.
In the practice of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or "Mormons"), a living person, acting as proxy, is baptized by immersion on behalf of a deceased person of the same gender. The baptism ritual is as follows: after calling the living proxy by name, the person performing the baptism says, "Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you for and in behalf of [full name of deceased person], who is dead, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." The proxy is then immersed briefly in the water. This is almost identical to the way Baptism is performed for living individuals (with slight variation in the wording). Baptism for the dead is a distinctive ordinance of the church and is based on the belief that baptism is a required ordinance for entry into the Kingdom of God. Wikipedia
This is performed by priests in secret rituals in the Mormon temples. It is also why the LDS Church has the largest data base of genealogcal records in the world. The Jews took offense when they discovered that the Mormon Church has been baptising halocaust victims into the Church. The Pope has ordered that Catholic records aren't to be released to the LDS church. My message to my former church: Knock the shit off!