Dave Smith Papers
Dave Smith (1924-2008), a longtime radio and television broadcaster and public-relations consultant in Austin, was raised in Amarillo, TX. He began his career in radio broadcasting while attending high school in Amarillo. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps as a public-relations officer, and he was briefly stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin. He liked the city, and so after the war, he returned and made it his home in 1945. In 1947, he married Jodie Simmons, whom he had known since high school, and in 1949, he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. From 1945 to 1949, Smith was employed by KTBC radio (now KLBJ) as a newscaster and announcer. In 1949, he began working at KVET radio and was there for thirteen years. He later was a news anchor at KVUE-TV, a job from which he retired in 1990.
According to his obituary in the Austin American-Statesman, he "was a longtime member and past President of the Rotary Club of Austin [and] Governor of the Central Texas Rotary International District and Vice-President of Rotary International." He was also "a member and vice-president of the Austin School Board from 1964-70; was appointed by two Texas governors as member and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Employees Retirement System of Texas; President of the United Press Broadcasters Association of Texas; and President of the Society of Austin Professional Journalists. He was a member of the Austin Area Council of The Boy Scouts; Chief of the Austin Longhouse of YMCA Indian Guides; past Chairman of the Public Relations Advisory Committee of the Baptist General Convention of Texas; and served as Chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Travis County Juvenile Home. He was active in Austin's Knights of the Symphony, serving as Lord Chancellor and King Brio of the symphony support group."
Source: "Dave Smith [obituary]," Austin American-Statesman, Sept. 30, 2008.
The collection is composed of materials that relate to Dave Smith's service in the military during World War II, his professional life as a radio broadcaster, and his civic life.
The Military series (1943-1945) includes a government pamphlet titled "Code of Wartime Practices for American Broadcasters," a script for an Air Force radio program that Smith broadcast in 1944, a letter that Smith wrote to his family while stationed at Bergstrom Field in 1944, four issues of the newspapers Del Valle News and Bergstrom Commando (Smith has bylines in three of the issues), two military publications from government public-relations offices, two copies of a Thanksgiving Menu for the 442d Base Headquarters and Air Base at Bergstrom Army Airfield, a "Merry Christmas" card from Bergstrom Army Airfield, and twenty-five black-and-white photographs.
The Professional series (1947-1959) includes materials related to Smith's work at both KTBC radio and KVET radio. The KTBC materials include two copies of a black-and-white photo of Smith at the radio station, a schedule of KTBC's programs for October 1947, and a script for a "'Fabulous Texan' World Premiere Broadcast," which featured Smith. The KVET materials include black-and-white photographs featuring Smith, President Harry Truman, and John Connally (who, with several other men, started KVET in 1946 and was later governor of Texas), photographs of Smith doing "Man on the Street" interviews, schedules of KTBC's programs for 1949 and 1950, and a press card issued to Smith by the City of Austin Police Department.
The Civic series (1951-1961) includes a "Certificate of Merit" awarded to Smith by the Texas Junior Chamber of Commerce, three issues of the Annual Jaycee "Keynote" program (Smith is pictured in one as a member of the executive board and in another a the toastmaster), and an issue of the Austin Chamber of Commerce's "Austin In Action."
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The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
Dave Smith Papers (AR.2013.026). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2000/043
Donation Date: 2013
Processing, finding aid, and encoding by Roger Simon, November-December 2013.
Detailed Description of the Collection