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William Smith

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Information about William Smith

Profile image of William Smith

Interview Date

September 9, 2003

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Red
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New England
Favorite Quote:
You're Never Too Small To Give And Never Too Big To Receive.

Birthplace

Born:
1/3/1929
Birth Location:
Boston, Massachusetts

Interview Date

September 9, 2003

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Education Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Red
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New England
Favorite Quote:
You're Never Too Small To Give And Never Too Big To Receive.

Birthplace

Born:
1/3/1929
Birth Location:
Boston
See how William Smith is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Senior education executive William L. Smith spent his professional career working to improve inner-city education. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 3, 1929, Smith developed a strong sense of sacrifice and community growing up during the Great Depression.

After completing high school, Smith received a presidential scholarship to Wiley College where he finished a year early, graduating with honors in January, 1949. He then won a scholarship to Boston University to continue his studies, but his plans were interrupted in the fall of 1950 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army at the outbreak of the Korean War. Smith helped integrate General Douglas MacArthur’s famed honor guard and received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his battlefield service. When he returned to the United States, Smith resumed his studies, earning his M.Ed. degree in 1955. Smith then was hired as a teacher and administrator in Cleveland’s public schools, where he worked until 1968.

Smith continued his studies at Case Western Reserve University and just before receiving his PhD degree in education, he was asked in 1970 to join the U.S. Department of Education. He moved to Washington, D.C., and began a long and meritorious career with the Department of Education. There, Smith oversaw teacher training, educational development and vocational education. Starting in 1995, Smith worked as a senior advisor within the Department of Education.

Smith’s writings on teacher education, administration and educational multiculturalism have appeared in some fifty publications. He represented the Department of Education abroad at several international conferences on education.

Smith passed away on February 29, 2008 at the age of 79. He was married to Audrey Morton Smith and had two adult children with his first wife, Mable.

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