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Howard K. Smith

Howard Kingsbury Smith, a broadcaster
and journalist, was born in Ferriday,
Louisiana, May 12, 1914. His father, also
named Howard K. Smith, was of a gentleman-
farmer's family from Lettsworth, Louisiana,
and his mother, Minnie Gates, was the
daughter of a Cajun riverboat pilot. After
graduating from Tulane University, Howard
K. Smith won a Rhodes Scholarship and
attended Oxford University in England. He
married Benedicte Traberg, a Danish
journalist, in 1942, to whom he refers as the
most impressive person that he has ever
known, "far above presidents and generals."
Smith began his career as a newspaper-
man, first on the New Orleans Item, then
with the United Press in London, and later
the New York Times. In 1942 he joined the
Columbia Broadcasting System as its war-
time Berlin correspondent, remaining with
the network for 20 years. In 1961, he
switched to the American Broadcasting
Company, where he reported for 17 years.
Smith was chosen to moderate two presidential election debates: the first Kennedy-
Nixon debate in 1960 and the Carter-Reagan
"Great Debate" in 1980. He covered some of
the most important events in the 20th
century: the surrender of the Germans to
the Soviet Army in Marshal Zukov's headquarters outside Berlin, the Nuremberg War
Crimes Trials, the assassination of President
John F. Kennedy, and the Vietnam War.

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