Curt Smith is a newspaper columnist, award-winning radio commentator, Upstate New York television political analyst, and acclaimed author, his sixteenth and newest book George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core. Smith wrote more speeches than anyone else for Bush during the latter’s 1989-93 Presidency. The New York Times terms his work "the high point of Bush familial eloquence." Says commentator Juan Williams: "Curt Smith is a great talent."
Smith's column for GateHouse Media is distributed to about 80 papers. He is also a columnist for Jewish World Review’s PoliticalMavens.com and Major League Baseball's official web site MLBlog.com. Smith analyzes politics for Rochester, N.Y.’s CBS and Fox TV affiliates, appears frequently on radio's syndicated Beyond the Beltway, and is Senior Lecturer of English at the University of Rochester, teaching Public Speaking and Presidential Rhetoric from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama. In addition, he advises the English Department's intern program.
From 2003 to 2012, Smith hosted the weekly National Public Radio affiliate series Perspectives, over Rochester's NPR affiliate WXXI. It featured guests including Fred Barnes, David Birney, Christine Brennan, Tucker Carlson, Dick Enberg, Garth Fagan, Emeril Lagasse, Michelle Malkin, David Maraniss, George Mitchell, Dan Rather, and John Zogby. Associated Press and the New York Broadcasting Association voted Smith's WXXI commentary "the best in New York State."
Smith's 16 books include 2014's George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core. Other books are: Mercy! A Celebration of Fenway Park's Centennial Told Through Red Sox Radio and TV; A Talk in the Park; Pull Up a Chair: The Vin Scully Story; The Voice: Mel Allen's Untold Story; Voices of Summer; What Baseball Means To Me; Storied Stadiums; Our House; Windows on the White House; Of Mikes and Men; The Red Sox Fan’s Little Book of Wisdom; The Storytellers; Voices of The Game; Long Time Gone; and America`s Dizzy Dean. Recent book essays include the Memoir As Art, 32 Greatest Presidential Speeches, and 32 Greatest TV/film Presidential Portrayals. Smith’s essay on the media keynoted Cambridge University's 2010 The Cambridge Companion to Baseball.
Raised in Upstate New York, Smith was a Gannett reporter, speechwriter for ex-Texas Governor and Secretary of the Navy and Treasury John B. Connally, The Saturday Evening Post national affairs and senior editor, and Reagan Administration Cabinet Speechwriter before joining the Bush White House in 1989. He wrote the 41st president's "Just War" Persian Gulf address, Nixon and Reagan Libraries dedication, Margaret Thatcher Medal of Freedom address, and speech aboard the USS Arizona memorial site on Pearl Harbor's 50th anniversary. Smith also wrote George Bush's moving 2004 eulogy to Ronald Reagan at Washington's National Cathedral.
Leaving the White House in 1993, Smith headed former President Bush's speech staff. He has keynoted a conference on Bush at his Presidential Library at Texas A&M University, the Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, and the Great Fenway Park Writers Series; hosted Smithsonian Institution and XM Satellite Radio Baseball Hall of Fame series; and helped write TV’s ABC/ESPN SportsCentury and ESPN Voices of The Game. The latter title has now become shorthand for baseball radio/television.
Smith has written for, among others, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and The Washington Post -- and appeared on such network radio/TV programs as ABC's Nightline; Armed Forces Radio; the British Broadcasting Corp., CBS This Morning; CNN, ESPN, Fox News, and MSNBC TV; History Channel; Mutual Radio's Larry King and Jim Bohannon; and Radio America.
The State University of New York at Geneseo alumnus has been named among the SUNY system's "100 Outstanding Alumni" -- and to the Judson Welliver Society of former White House speechwriters; Baseball Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award committee; and National Radio Hall of Fame committee, creating its Franklin D. Roosevelt Award in Political Communication. Smith joined the University of Rochester faculty in 1999. He lives with his wife Sarah and their two children in Upstate New York.