The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

The Honorable Kenneth Smith, Sr.

Share on Social Media

Information about The Honorable Kenneth Smith, Sr.

Profile image of The Honorable Kenneth Smith, Sr.

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
University President

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Jambalaya
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
This Is Another Day That The Lord Has Made.

Birthplace

Born:
2/19/1931
Birth Location:
Montclair, New Jersey

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
University President

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Jambalaya
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
This Is Another Day That The Lord Has Made.

Birthplace

Born:
2/19/1931
Birth Location:
Montclair
See how The Honorable Kenneth Smith, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

The Reverend Dr. Kenneth B. Smith, Sr. was born in Montclair, New Jersey, on February 19, 1931. He was very active in social issues affecting the greater Chicago area.

Smith completed his undergraduate degree at Virginia Union University in 1953. He earned his M.A. degree from Drew University in 1954 and a degree in divinity and ministry from the Bethany Theological Seminary in 1960.

As a minister, Smith guided the congregations at the Congregational Church of Park Manor, Trinity United Church of Christ and the Church of the Good Shepherd. Smith retired as the president of the Chicago Theological Seminary. Over the years, he was involved with the Community Renewal Society.

Active in the community, Smith served as the chairman of the Chicago Community Trust, the president of the Chicago Board of Education, treasurer of the United Way of Chicago and a trustee of DePaul University. Smith also served on the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Center for the Humanities.

Smith passed away on January 21, 2008 at the age of 76.

Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 9, 2000.

See how The Honorable Kenneth Smith, Sr. is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Kenneth Smith lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Kenneth Smith describes his maternal family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Kenneth Smith describes his maternal family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Slating of Kenneth Smith's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Kenneth Smith describes his mother, Dorothy Jackson Smith
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Kenneth Smith describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Kenneth Smith talks about his parents' marriage in 1918 and move to New Jersey
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Kenneth Smith describes his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Kenneth Smith describes his earliest childhood memories in Montclair, New Jersey
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Kenneth Smith talks about how the death of his grandparents affected his parents, Dorothy and William Smith
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Kenneth describes how he takes after his parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Kenneth Smith talks about his work ethic growing up in the 1930s and 1940s in Montclair, New Jersey
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Kenneth Smith describes his neighborhood in Montclair, New Jersey as an ethnically mixed community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Kenneth Smith talks about the role of the black churches in Montclair, New Jersey
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Kenneth Smith describes his parent's work
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Kenneth Smith describes himself as a student and his developing interest in theology
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Kenneth Smith talks about being raised Catholic
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Kenneth Smith describes ministers in Montclair, New Jersey who influenced and encouraged him
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Kenneth Smith talks about attending Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia in 1949
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Kenneth Smith describes his interest in history as a student at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Kenneth Smith talks about his involvement with the Student Christian Movement while attending Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia from 1949 to 1953
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Kenneth Smith talks about attending the World Conference of Christian Youth in India in 1952
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Kenneth Smith describes how traveling to India in 1952 affected his world view and his theology
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Kenneth Smith talks about speaking at schools and student groups in India in 1952
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Kenneth Smith talks about his mother's reaction to his entering Bethany Theological Seminary and converting to the Congregational Church
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Kenneth Smith talks about how William J. Faulkner and Howard Thurman influenced him
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Kenneth Smith describes being president of the Chicago Theological Seminary in 1984
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Kenneth Smith describes pastoring at the Church of the Good Shepard in Chicago, Illinois in 1968
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Kenneth Smith talks about becoming the president of Chicago Theological Seminary in 1984
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Kenneth Smith describes the history of social activism at the Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Kenneth Smith talks about the relationship between the Chicago Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago, in Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Kenneth Smith talks about the relationship between the University of Chicago and the black community in Hyde Park in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Kenneth Smith describes the academic training provided by the Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Kenneth Smith describes his involvement with the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Kenneth Smith describes the history of the Congregational Church
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Kenneth Smith describes Chicago, Illinois, during the Civil Rights Movement and his involvement with the CCCO, Coordinating Council of Community Organizations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Kenneth Smith talks about the Chicago Civil Rights activists he worked with
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Kenneth Smith talks about being appointed to the Chicago Board of Education by Mayor Jane Byrne in 1979
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Kenneth Smith talks about his civic accomplishments in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Kenneth Smith talks about his plans for the future
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Kenneth Smith describes his children and grandchildren
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Kenneth Smith reflects on the roles that family and faith play in society
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Kenneth Smith reflects on the role religion plays in society
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Kenneth Smith describes his philosophy on the role of a minister in society
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Kenneth Smith reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Kenneth Smith reflects on those who influenced him
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Kenneth Smith narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Kenneth Smith narrates his photographs, pt. 2