City councilman, judge and Anheuser Busch executive Wayman Flynn Smith, III, was born June 18, 1940, in St. Louis, Missouri; his father, Wayman, II, and his mother, Edith Maux Smith were college educated. Wayman Smith, II, was the first black certified public accountant in Missouri and later served as a city councilman. Growing up in the area where Dick Gregory and Grace Bumbry were raised, Smith attended Washington Elementary School, Sumner High School, and graduated from Soldan International Studies High School in 1957. Smith began his collegiate career at Washington University but graduated from Monmouth College in New Jersey in 1962. Smith went on to graduate from Howard University Law School in 1965.
Mentored by St. Louis attorneys Margaret Bush Wilson and Frankie Freeman, Smith worked on housing legislation for the Missouri Commission on Human Rights in 1966; this legislation designated the real estate office as a place of public accommodation. Smith entered into private practice in 1968; in 1970, he was appointed a City Court Judge, serving until 1975. Smith then served on the St. Louis City Council from 1975 to 1987 and was once president of the council’s Black Caucus. Pressure on Anheuser-Busch by Rev. Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr.’s Operation PUSH, resulted in Anheuser-Busch’s hiring of Smith in 1980 as the first African American member of the Corporate Affairs Department. Working with Augie Busch, Smith created a $200 million minority business development program. Smith eventually became vice president of corporate affairs for Anheuser-Busch Companies, and a member of the board of directors of Anheuser Busch, Inc.
Smith served as a member of the board of directors of Howard University from 1989 to the time of his HistoryMakers interview, and chairman from 1991 to 1995. Smith was senior partner at The Smith Partnership, P.C., St. Louis, Missouri, and a partner in the law firm of Wilson, Smith & McCullin. Smith’s numerous civic board memberships include: the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; National Urban League; National Association of Sickle Cell Disease, Inc.; St. Louis Symphony; and St. Louis Metropolitan YMCA. Chairman of the Board of Regents of Harris Stowe State College, Smith was also listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Black America. Smith held memberships in the American Bar Association, Missouri, Mound City, and National Bar Association, Missouri Chapter.
Smith passed away on September 15, 2020.