Jack Smith (columnist)

Jack Smith (Columnist)

Jack Smith (columnist)

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Jack Clifford Smith (August 27, 1916–January 9, 1996) was a journalist, author, and newspaper columnist who wrote about Los Angeles during its period of greatest growth and increasing influence. His Los Angeles Times column, which ran for 37 years, chronicled or poked gentle fun at Los Angeles, his family and himself in an urbane, witty style that became a defining voice for the booming city. Throughout his long tenure as a Times columnist, he came to be closely associated with the city, as Herb Caen was to San Francisco or Mike Royko to Chicago. He was the author of 10 books, many of them based on his columns, and won the Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists' Distinguished Journalist award in 1981.

Early years

Smith was born in Long Beach on Aug. 27, 1916, grew up in Bakersfield and Los Angeles, and spent some time in the Civilian Conservation Corps before joining the United States Merchant Marine at age 21. He went into journalism, first for the Bakersfield Californian, then for the Honolulu Advertiser, United Press, the Sacramento Union, the San Diego Journal, the Daily News, Independent and Herald-Express, all in Los Angeles, before joining the Los Angeles Times in June 1953. He remained with the Times until his death.

He got to the Honolulu Advertiser by working his way there on a passenger ship. In World War II, he joined the Marine Corps and was a combat correspondent who took part in the assault on Iwo Jima, going ashore with...
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