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David A. Smith

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Information about David A. Smith

Profile image of David A. Smith

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Real Estate Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Phoenix, Arizona
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
8/29/1915
Birth Location:
Clinton, Louisiana

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Real Estate Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Phoenix, Arizona
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
8/29/1915
Birth Location:
Clinton
See how David A. Smith is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Real estate entrepreneur David A. Smith was born on August 29, 1915 in Clinton, Louisiana. Smith has the distinction of being one of the first African American real estate brokers in Denver, Colorado. His paternal grandfather, Walter Smith, was a contractor and built most of the homes, churches and schools in Clinton, Louisiana. As a child, Smith moved with his mother to New Orleans, Louisiana where he attended a private school, Gilbert Academy, before moving to Denver, Colorado and graduating in 1933 from Manual High School. Continuing his education, Smith attended Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas until 1935 before receiving his B.A. degree in economics from West Virginia State College in 1938. Completing his studies at the University of Denver in 1940, Smith received his M.A. degree in economics.

Smith began his professional career as an office assistant to Governor Neely of West Virginia. In the 1940s, he enlisted into the segregated United States Army. Here, he served as an officer in the 477th Bomber Group in Tuskegee, Alabama. He was one of the officers who fought against the discrimination that existed at Freeman Field and was arrested. After an honorable discharge, Smith returned to Denver and started several small entrepreneurial businesses including a liquor store and a real estate agency. He became one of the first African American real estate appraisers and brokers for the city of Denver. During his time, he became one of the most successful African American real estate brokers in Denver.

Smith retired in the late 1990s, and his daughter has continued to maintain his real estate practice. Smith has received several awards for being an outstanding businessman and is a member of several organizations including the Urban League and the NAACP. Smith passed away on January 24, 2010.

Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 19, 2006.

See how David A. Smith is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of David A. Smith's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - David A. Smith lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - David A. Smith describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - David A. Smith describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - David A. Smith recalls visiting his maternal grandparents in Clinton, Louisiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - David A. Smith describes his childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - David A. Smith describes his mother's decision to move to Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - David A. Smith describes his neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - David A. Smith describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - David A. Smith describes his experiences of segregation in New Orleans
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - David A. Smith remembers his role models as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - David A. Smith describes his mother's professions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - David A. Smith recalls his early impressions of Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - David A. Smith describes his experiences of racial discrimination in Clinton, Louisiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - David A. Smith describes his homes in Denver, Colorado
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - David A. Smith recalls his decision to attend Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - David A. Smith remembers his college roommate, Adolphus Smith
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - David A. Smith describes his mother's aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - David A. Smith describes his undergraduate education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - David A. Smith describes his experiences during the Great Depression
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - David A. Smith describes his move to West Virginia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - David A. Smith recalls his work in the office of Governor Matthew M. Neely
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - David A. Smith describes his positions in West Virginia and Colorado
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - David A. Smith recalls his enlistment to the U.S. Army Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - David A. Smith describes the U.S. Army bases where he was stationed
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - David A. Smith describes the Freeman Field mutiny, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - David A. Smith describes the Freeman Field mutiny, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - David A. Smith describes the Freeman Field mutiny, pt. 3
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - David A. Smith recalls obtaining a liquor license and opening a store
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - David A. Smith remembers becoming a real estate appraiser
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - David A. Smith recalls founding his real estate business
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - David A. Smith describes the practice of restrictive covenants
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - David A. Smith remembers civil rights leaders and events
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - David A. Smith recalls the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - David A. Smith reflects upon his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - David A. Smith describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - David A. Smith describes his hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - David A. Smith reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - David A. Smith narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - David A. Smith narrates his photographs, pt. 2