University of Rochester

Curt Smith Named Political Coordinator of Museum of Broadcast Communications

February 8, 2007

Curt Smith, senior lecturer in English at the University of Rochester, author, and former speechwriter to former President George H.W. Bush, has been named political coordinator of the Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC).

Opened in Chicago in 1987, the Museum boasts America's only National Radio Hall of Fame. Smith will coordinate its political archives, expand its political exhibits, and identify and gather America's 100 all-time most memorable radio/television political moments.

"Curt Smith was a gifted presidential speechwriter and is a widely recognized authority on radio and TV broadcasting," said museum founder and president Bruce DuMont. "We look forward to our association, including his coordinating of several events crucial to the museum."

Smith will help coordinate the 75th anniversary salute to Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 2, 2007, in Chicago. There, on that exact date in 1932, FDR accepted his first Democratic Party nomination for President and first proclaimed his "New Deal for the American people" in a nationwide network radio address.

This year's event at the landmark Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University will include actor Robert Vaughn, re-creating his acclaimed role as FDR and delivering the historic 1932 speech; and reflections on Roosevelt by columnist and National Public Radio commentator Juan Williams, Roosevelt author and Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter, and Cynthia Koch, FDR Presidential Library director, among others.

Smith will also conduct a survey of noted historians and political analysts who will determine the nation's 100 all-time most memorable radio/TV political moments. "Politics' essence is the ability to communicate," he said. "Few grasped that like Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Like the Museum of Broadcast Communications, FDR prized radio's capacity to change the land."

Smith will continue to teach Presidential rhetoric and public speaking courses at the University of Rochester; host the XM Satellite Radio series Voices of The Game and NPR affiliates series Perspectives originating from WXXI Rochester; and write a column for New York's Messenger-Post Newspapers. In April, his 12th book will be published, The Voice: Mel Allen's Untold Story, about the famed National Radio Hall of Fame inductee.

A former Gannett reporter and The Saturday Evening Post senior editor, Smith joined the Bush White House in 1989. He wrote more speeches than anyone for the 41st President, including the "Just War" address and the USS Missouri speech on the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Most recently, Smith wrote former President Bush's 2004 eulogy to Ronald Reagan at Washington's National Cathedral.

Smith has written ESPN-TV documentaries; hosted Smithsonian Institution series; written, for among others, Newsweek, New York Times, Reader's Digest, Sports Illustrated, and Washington Post; and appeared on all major networks including ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC, and The History Channel. Associated Press voted his radio commentary "Best in New York State."

The State University of New York at Geneseo graduate has been named among New York's SUNY system's "100 Outstanding Alumni." He is a member of the prestigious Judson Welliver Society of former White House speechwriters; Baseball Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award broadcast committee; and National Radio Hall of Fame steering committee. Smith lives with wife Sarah and their two children in Rochester.