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Samuel J. Smith
Best known forState Representative

  Born07/21/1922, Gibsland, Bienville Parish County, Louisiana, USA
  ParentsSteve Smith, Bernice Smith
  Military ServiceDrafted into the army in 1942 and stationed at Camp Jordan in Seattle for one year. Achieved rank of warrant officer and served in the Philippines.
  EducationSeattle University, degree in Social Science (1951); University of Washington, B.A. Economics (1952)
  MarriagesMarion King 01/29/1945, Seattle, King County, Washington, USA
  ChildrenAmelia Smith. Carl Smith. Anthony Smith. Donald Smith. Ronald Smith. Stephen Smith.
  Death11/16/1995, Seattle, King County, Washington, USA


  • Clerk. Boeing. 1951-1969.
  • Owner/Publisher. Pacific Leader, Newspaper. 1952-1954. Sold in 1954.
  • Owner/Publisher. Builder, Newspaper. 1954-1955.
  • State Representative. House of Representatives. Democrat. 37th District, Washington. 1959 - 1968. Sam was consistantly active in the civil rights movement and while in office he fought a long battle to pass an open housing law in Washington State.
  • City Councilmember. Democrat. Seattle, Washington. 1968 - 1991. Sam Smith was Seattle's first black councilman. Smith introduced the fair housing ordinance 96619, which was unanimously passed by the Seattle City Council on April 19, 1968. Smith was elected City Council president in 1973 and remained president for eigth years.
  • Legislator of the Year (1967).
  • Outstanding Elected Official (1985).
Notes:In 1985, governor Booth Gardner designated "Sam Smith Day" in recognition of Sam's dedication to the state of Washington. In September 1998, Seattle's Parks and Recreation named a park on the lid over the I-90 tunnel in Smith's honor.



Washington State Oral History: Samuel J. Smith; HistoryLink.Org Essay #63 by Mary Henry: Smith, Sam (1922-1995); The Seattle Times, November 17, 1995,"Sam Smith, 'Everyone's Neighbor,' Dies -- Former Seattle Councilman Was 73"