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American Journalist and Icon Howard K. Smith’s Personal Library at Auction

Feb. 26, 2005

Waverly Auctions in association with LiveAuctioneers.com are proud to presentthe library of Mr. and Mrs. Howard K. Smith including personally inscribed pieces from Presidents Johnson, Kennedy and Nixon.

FALLS CHURCH, Va.- Waverly Auctions (a subsidiary of Quinn's Auction Galleries) in association with LiveAuctioneers.com are honored to offer the personal library of esteemed ABC and CBS newsman Howard K. Smith and his wife, Benedicte Traberg Smith, on Thursday March 3. The collection includes autographed and personally inscribed books by Presidents Johnson, Kennedy and Nixon as well as pieces signed and inscribed by Winston Churchill and a significant collection of beautiful leather-bound literature, history, philosophy, and the classics.

Howard Kingsbury Smith was born in Ferriday, La., on May 12, 1914. He graduated as a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford University in 1939, after which he took his first media job working for the United Press in London. He was sent to Berlin and eventually joined CBS, where he began his career as one of America’s journalistic icons. His fame originated with his time as a war correspondent with CBS Radio in Berlin in 1941 as one of “Murrow’s Boys” referring to a team of journalists gathered by Edward R. Murrow that made CBS the dominant broadcast news source of the era. He later served as CBS News’ European Correspondent, D.C. correspondent, and later, Chief Correspondent and general manager in Washington.

As a journalist, Smith covered World War II from Berlin, interviewing, among others, Adolf Hitler & Heinrich Himmler. He was on hand when the Germans surrendered to the Russians in 1945. He covered the Nuremburg trials in 1946, and hosted The Great Challenge and Face The Nation for CBS from Washington.

He later resigned from CBS over his position on civil rights and a comment he made on his program CBS Special Reports Who Speaks for Birmingham? in which he spoke out against the brutal beatings of Freedom Riders in an Alabama bus station. After his years with CBS, Smith joined ABC as a reporter and continued covering global events including the Vietnam War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. During his time with ABC in Washington, he was both a reporter and anchor, and hosted Howard K. Smith – News & Comment, ABC Scope, ABC Evening News and later ABC News Closeup.

While with CBS, he moderated the first-ever televised presidential debate between then-Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard M. Nixon, on September 26, 1960. The Smiths’ library includes a copy of John F. Kennedy’s book The Strategy of Peace inscribed “In Howard Smith- a distinguished public servant - with esteem - John Kennedy” which will be sold along with Richard Nixon’s book The Challenges We Face inscribed “To Howard K. Smith, with appreciation and respect for his distinguished news reporting and analysis of world events, From Richard Nixon, (First Debate 9-26-60) . Each book has tipped into the bindings a photo of the debate featuring all three men.


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