Howard K. Smith, a 1936 graduate of Tulane University, was named one of the NCAA's 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes in 2006. As part of the NCAA's Centennial Celebration, a panel consisting of college and university presidents, athletics directors, NCAA committee members, conference office representatives, SAAC representatives and NCAA staff determined the prestigious list which celebrates each honorees professional accomplishments, athletics success and scope of achievement.
Smith was a longtime newsman whose career began as a foreign correspondent for UPI in 1940. He joined CBS News in 1941 as its Berlin correspondent and covered many pivotal moments of the war, including the German surrender to Russia as well as the Nuremberg trials. In 1960, he was named chief of CBS's Washington Bureau and continued to build his impressive resumé, including serving as moderator of the first Kennedy-Nixon presidential debate.
He would move on to ABC, hosting numerous news programs and was named co-anchor of the ABC Evening News, a position he would hold until 1975.
He was also the author of four books, including the best-selling Last Train From Berlin, which chronicled his views of the conditions in Germany prior to his departure in 1942 - he was recognized as the last American correspondent to leave Germany after war was declared.
As a student-athlete at Tulane, Smith earned three track letters and was captain of the team as a senior in 1936. He still holds the Tulane record in the 120-yard high hurdles at 14.5 seconds and was inducted into the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame in 1983.
He served as his class president for his sophomore, junior and senior years and also wrote for The Hullabaloo student newspaper and the Jambalaya yearbook. A Rhodes Scholar, he attended Heidelberg and Oxford after graduating from Tulane.
Smith held honorary degrees from Tulane (LLD in Journalism, 1955), Maryland, Alfred, Thiel, St. Norbert, Roosevelt and Southern University. He also earned multiple honors from the NCAA, including being honored in 1972 with an NCAA Commemorative Plaque as one of a group of newsmen who achieved national prominence in the field after having won a varsity athletic letter.
Born May 4, 1914 in Ferriday, La., Smith was married and had two children. He died on Feb. 15, 2002.