Curt Smith is the author of eighteen books, including his current Memories from the Microphone: A Century of Baseball Broadcasting, an official book of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He also wrote more speeches than anyone else for George H. W. Bush during and after his 1989-93 presidency. The New York Times terms Smith’s work “the high point of Bush familial eloquence.” Adds Chicago Cubs radio Voice Pat Hughes: “He is also simply one of the best baseball historians ever.”
Today, Smith is Senior Lecturer of English at the University of Rochester, teaching Public Speaking and Presidential Rhetoric from Franklin Roosevelt to Joe Biden. He writes a long-running column for Upstate New York’s Messenger-Post Newspapers, appears on numerous radio/TV networks to discuss baseball and politics, and contributes regularly to the websites and publications of the Hall of Fame and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
The State University of New York at Geneseo alumnus began as a Gannett reporter, speechwriter for former Texas Governor John B. Connally, The Saturday Evening Post senior editor, and then senior Cabinet speechwriter in the Reagan presidency. In 1989, he joined the Bush White House, writing the 41st president’s “Just War” Persian Gulf address, speech aboard the USS Arizona memorial site on Pearl Harbor’s 50th anniversary, and Bush’s moving eulogy to Ronald Reagan at Washington’s National Cathedral.
Leaving the White House, Smith headed the former president’s 1993-97 speech staff. In addition, he has addressed the Bush, Roosevelt, and Richard Nixon presidential libraries and White House Historical Association, keynoted the Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, Great Fenway Park Writers Series, and SABR convention—and hosted Smithsonian Institution, Hall of Fame, and XM Satellite Radio series. Smith co-wrote the highly rated ESPN TV 1994-95 series, Voices of The Game, based upon his 1992 book, the title becoming shorthand for baseball radio/television.
For a decade, Smith hosted the popular show Perspectives on National Public Radio Upstate New York outlet WXXI. Associated Press and the New York Broadcasting Association voted his commentary “the best in New York State.” Among programs he has hosted on local or regional radio/TV are Perfectly Clear, Talking Point, The Curt Smith Show, and statewide Empire Sports Network’s Voices of The Game. His interviews included: chef and author Emeril Lagasse, former Second Lady Lynne Cheney, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Lion King choreographer Garth Fagan, authors David Maraniss, Jon Meacham, and George Will, former Secretary of State George Mitchell, and Al Roker from NBC’s Today Show.
Turning increasingly to books, Smith’s Memories from the Microphone: A Century of Baseball Broadcasting was released in August 2021 by Mango Publishing. (All books are listed separately.) Beside Voices of The Game, he has written: The Presidents and the Pastime, George H. W. Bush: Character at the Core, Mercy! A Celebration of Fenway Park’s Centennial, 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, Long Time Gone, and America’s Dizzy Dean.
Smith’s work has appeared in The Memoir as Art, Greatest Presidential Speeches, and 32 Greatest TV/Film Presidential Portraits, Cambridge University’s The Cambridge Companion to Baseball, the National Museum of American Jewish History’s Changing Dreams—and the Boston Globe, Newsweek, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and The Washington Post. He has appeared on ABC Nightline, BBC, CBS This Morning, CNN, ESPN, MLB, Fox News, MSNBC, History Channel, Mutual Radio, and CSPAN Washington Journal, addressing the FDR Library.
Smith has been named to the select Judson Welliver Society of former White House speechwriters. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick committee, choosing a yearly broadcast inductee, and the National Radio Hall of Fame steering committee. Smith joined the University of Rochester faculty in 1997. He lives with his wife Sarah in Upstate New York.