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The Honorable Calvin Smyre

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Information about The Honorable Calvin Smyre

Profile image of The Honorable Calvin Smyre

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
State Representative

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Florida
Favorite Quote:
If you ever see a turtle sitting on a fence post, you know he didn’t get there by himself.

Birthplace

Born:
5/17/1947
Birth Location:
Columbus, Georgia

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
State Representative

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Florida
Favorite Quote:
If you ever see a turtle sitting on a fence post, you know he didn’t get there by himself.

Birthplace

Born:
5/17/1947
Birth Location:
Columbus
See how The Honorable Calvin Smyre is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

State Representative of Georgia, Calvin Smyre was born on May 17, 1947. Smyre studied business administration at Fort Valley State University, where he earned his B.S.

In 1974, at the age of twenty-six, Smyre was elected to the Georgia State House of Representatives, as its youngest member at the time. He is known for his early efforts as an organizer and director of the "War on Poverty" program. In 1986, Governor Joe Frank Harris appointed Smyre the floor leader. It was the first time a black representative held this position in Georgia. Smyre sponsored successful legislation on the construction of the Georgia Dome, the honoring of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday as a state holiday and the fight to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag. He has served as a member of state house committees on appropriations, ethics, higher education and special rules. As Chairman of the House Rules Committee, he steered hundreds of successful bills to the full House, including stiffer restrictions on teen and drunken drivers.

Smyre has also been active on a national level, acting as a delegate to every Democratic National Convention since 1980. In 1984, he was the first African American from Georgia elected to the Democratic National Committee. As campaign chairman and advisor, he helped Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton win their presidential campaigns. He also served as an adviser to former Vice President Al Gore during Gore's run for president in 2000.

Smyre has also been a key figure in the world of finance. He is the executive vice president of corporate affairs for Synovus Financial Corporation, a multi-financial services company with more than $14.9 billion in assets. He is also the chairman, CEO of the Synovus Foundation. He acts as the secretary of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. He sits on the Board of Trustees of the Medical College of Georgia Foundation; the Morehouse School of Medicine; the Jack D. Hughston Foundation and the Fort Valley State University Foundation as its Chair.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Calvin Smyre interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Calvin Smyre's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Calvin Smyre recalls his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Calvin Smyre details his family's military service
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Calvin Smyre shares childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Calvin Smyre describes his family life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Calvin Smyre remembers growing up in Columbus, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Calvin Smyre recounts his early school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Calvin Smyre recollects moving frequently because of his father's military service
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Calvin Smyre recalls his childhood activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Calvin Smyre remembers his family's reaction to being stationed in Germany
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Calvin Smyre recounts his high school activities in Germany
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Calvin Smyre describes his high school in Frankfurt, Germany
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Calvin Smyre details how living in Germany impacted his family
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Calvin Smyre explains his decision to attend Fort Valley State University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Calvin Smyre recounts immersing himself in the black college experience
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Calvin Smyre explains his graduation troubles at Fort Valley State University, part 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Calvin Smyre explains his graduation troubles at Fort Valley State University, part 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Calvin Smyre recalls his brief service in the army
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Calvin Smyre details his career course into politics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Calvin Smyre discusses the factors that influenced his election to the Georgia state legislature
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Calvin Smyre recounts his success in getting involved in Georgia state legislative committees
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Calvin Smyre recollects his successes in the Georgia House of Representatives
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Calvin Smyre discusses his attitude toward his success in politics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Calvin Smyre details his politcal efforts to change the Georgia state flag
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Calvin Smyre recalls his reaction to the new Georgia state flag
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Calvin Smyre remembers the building of the Georgia Dome
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Calvin Smyre discusses his efforts to improve education in Georgia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Calvin Smyre reflects on the impact of his tenure in the Georgia House of Representatives
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Calvin Smyre discusses his plans for the future
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Calvin Smyre shares his hopes for the Democratic Party
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Calvin Smyre relates his ability to cross racial lines
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Calvin Smyre considers his legacy