John B. Smith Sr. publisher of The Atlanta Inquirer, died on Thursday, April 27, in Atlanta.
Smith was a respected, strong, effective, compassionate and courageous leader of the Black press in America for decades.
Smith grew up in LaGrange, Georgia, and attended Morehouse College and Atlanta University. He served in the U.S. Army and taught mathematics for 31 years in the Atlanta Public School System.
In speaking about his long, legendary career working with the Black press, Smith said he starting when he was a young boy selling Black newspapers in LaGrange. During the 1960s, Smith began working with The Atlanta Inquirer as a way to participate in the Atlanta Student Movement’s actions to end segregation in Atlanta.
Smith has worked for nearly 60 years with The Atlanta Inquirer, progressing from sales to publisher and owner. Smith also was also a member of the National Newspaper Publishers Association where he served as chair from 2005-2009. Smith was also a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. and Prince Hall Masons.
The legacy of Smith will continue to be cherished and admired by future generations of publishers, journalists and activists.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Frances, his daughter, Lori Smith, son, John B. (Angela) Smith, Jr., five grandchildren, Camryn Alyce Bragg, John Bradford Smith, Alexandra Brooke Smith, Chase A. Blackwell and Kyndall Peyton Smith; his brother, Robert L. Smith, sister, Sarah Alexander and many nieces, nephews cousins and a multiplicity of other relatives and friends.
Funeral arrangements are the following:
Saturday, May 6, at 11:00 AM
The Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel
830 Westview Drive SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30314