Albert Merriman Smith (February 10, 1913 – April 13, 1970) was an American wire service reporter, notably serving as White House correspondent for United Press International and its predecessor, United Press. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his coverage of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1967.
Smith in 1962
|Born||February 10, 1913|
|Died||April 13, 1970 (aged 57)|
Smith was born in Savannah, Georgia. Known by his middle name (and his nickname, "Smitty"), Smith covered US presidents from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Richard Nixon and originated the practice of closing presidential news conferences with "Thank You, Mr. President," which was the title of his 1946 book, written during his coverage of the Harry Truman administration. That honor, accorded the senior wire service reporter present at presidential news conferences, became more popularly known when it was continued by Smith's UPI colleague Helen Thomas.
Smith began covering the White House in 1940. After the United States entered the Second World War, he was designated as one of the wire service reporters to follow the president on all his travels. They agreed for security purposes not to file their stories until after each trip had ended. Consequently, Smith was in Warm Springs, Georgia, on April 12, 1945, and filed one of the first reports on the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
On November 22, 1963, Smith was the main UPI reporter in Dallas for John F. Kennedy's visit. He traveled in the motorcade in the White House Pool car, which had a radiotelephone. When the shots were fired, Smith grabbed the phone and called the UPI office. He stayed in the phone while Jack Bell, the AP reporter in the car, started punching Smith and yelling at him to hand the phone over. At 12:34 PM CST, the report went out over UPI wire. In 1964, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy. He was the first to publicly use the term "grassy knoll" regarding the assassination.
In the 1960s, Smith was a frequent guest on television interview programs hosted by Jack Paar and Merv Griffin. Smith was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967.
Despondent over the death of his son in the Vietnam War and perhaps suffering from PTSD as a result of witnessing the Kennedy assassination, Smith died at his home in Washington, D.C., on April 13, 1970 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Although he never served in the military himself, his grave is in Section 32 of Arlington National Cemetery next to his son's, by special permission of the Commanding General of the Military District of Washington.
The following are the Pulitzer Prizes for 1964.Dan Balz
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He has been a member of two teams that won the Pulitzer Prize, and has been awarded numerous honors for national security and foreign policy coverage. He is the author of three books: Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power (Crown, June 2012); The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power (Harmony, 2009), which was a best-seller; and The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age (Crown, 2018).David Nakamura
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In The Friends of Voltaire, Hall wrote the phrase: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" (which is often misattributed to Voltaire himself) as an illustration of Voltaire's beliefs. Hall's quotation is often cited to describe the principle of freedom of speech.Jake Tapper
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This is a list of notable reporters who worked for United Press International during their careers:
Carl W. Ackerman, 1913-1914 Albany, NY and Washington, D.C. bureau reporter, 1915-1917 Berlin Correspondent
Howard Arenstein, 1978 Jerusalem bureau chief 1981 editor on UPI's foreign desk in New York and Washington.
James Baar, editor in the UPI Washington Bureau
Arnaud de Borchgrave, 1947 -1951 Brussels bureau chief, 1998 president of UPI, 2001 editor-at-large of UPI based in Washington DC
Joe Bob Briggs
John Chambers, son of Whittaker Chambers (UPI Radio, 1960s)Audio recap of 87th Congress (1962)
Audio recap on Presidential Election (1964)
Funeral Services for Adlai Stevenson (1965)
Civil Rights Movement in 1965 (1965)
Preview 1966 (1966)
"From the People" with Hubert Humphrey (text) (February 1968)
Audio on LBJ's signing of Civil Rights Act of 1968 (April 11, 1968)
Text of eyewitness account of RFK assassination (1968)
Walter Cronkite, 1939-1950, covered World War II for UP.
William Boyd Dickinson
Marc S. Ellenbogen
James M. Flinchum
Joseph L. Galloway
Richard C. Hottelet
Michael Keon, covered the Chinese Civil War in the late 1940s
M. R. Akhtar Mukul
Richard S. Newcombe
Howard K. Smith
Morris DeHaven Tracy
Lester ZiffrenManu Raju
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Mara Liasson (; born June 13, 1955) is an American journalist and political pundit. She is the national political correspondent for National Public Radio
and also a contributor at Fox News Channel.Michael Allen (journalist)
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The New York Times reported that Allen would no longer be writing the Playbook after July 11, 2016. The writing was taken over by Politico staffers Daniel Lippman, Anna Palmer, and Jake Sherman.Ron Fournier
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Susan Page (born February 12, 1951) is an American journalist and the current Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today.Terry Moran
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United Press International (UPI) is an international news agency whose newswires, photo, news film, and audio services provided news material to thousands of newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations for most of the 20th century. At its peak, it had more than 6,000 media subscribers. Since the first of several sales and staff cutbacks in 1982, and the 1999 sale of its broadcast client list to its rival, the Associated Press, UPI has concentrated on smaller information-market niches.White House Correspondents' Association
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Not every member of the White House press corps is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association.