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William Smith

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Information about William Smith

Profile image of William Smith

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

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.

See how William Smith is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Smith's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Smith lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Smith shares his limited knowledge of his maternal family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Smith describes his mother, Mary Allen Smith
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Smith talks about his older sister
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Smith talks about his attitude towards corporal punishment
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Smith talks about his father, Willie Lee Davis, and his father's friendship with American historian Samuel Eliot Morison
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Smith talks about his paternal family history and his family's living situation in Boston, Massachusetts during his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William Smith talks about the first time he realized he was black, and gender segregation in Boston Public Schools
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William Smith talks about moving into the Charles Hayden Goodwill Inn for Boys after his mother's death and the influence of Dr. Emil Hartl
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Smith talks about his relationship with his father, Willie Lee Davis
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Smith talks about influential figures in his life and obtaining a scholarship to Claflin College in Orangeburg, South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Smith describes joining the marching band after transferring to Wiley College in Marshall, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Smith describes working to retain his scholarship at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas under a new college president, Dr. Julius S. Scott, Sr.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Smith talks about enlisting in the U.S. Army and how his life ran in parallel with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. although the two never met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Smith talks about his unit's integration of the 1st Calvary Division
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Smith talks about fighting in the Korean War as part of the 1st Calvary Division and his promotion to Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Smith begins to describe how his time in U.S. Army Intelligence inspired him to become a teacher
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Smith talks about how he began to teach
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Smith describes the beginning of his teaching career after leaving the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Smith describes how his military service influenced his comportment as a teacher
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Smith describes becoming a doctoral student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Smith describes his experience at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Smith talks about his marriages
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Smith remembers Richard Derr, an influential professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William Smith talks about being appointed principal of Patrick Henry Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1965
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William Smith talks about the start of the teacher in-service education system at Patrick Henry Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Smith talks about his career in the U.S. Department of Education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Smith talks about influential minds in the field of education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Smith describes his philosophy of education
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Smith reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Smith describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Smith talks about the challenge of passing on certain values to his children and grandchildren
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Smith describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William Smith narrates his photographs