Howard Smith (director)
Howard Smith with his Oscar award for "Marjoe" in 1972
|Born||1936 (age 76–77)
Newark, New Jersey 
|Occupation||journalist, film director|
|Known for||producer and director of the 1972 Oscar-winning documentary film Marjoe; long-time columnist for The Village Voice newspaper; WPLJ-FM radio show host|
Zachary Charles Smith
Several years later, he pursued journalism from another perspective and became a writer for more than thirty years. His articles appeared in newspapers and magazines ranging from Playboy to The New York Times; from the Ladies Home Journal to The Village Voice.
During the Village Voice's early and formative years, his column, "Scenes", with its reporting on the emerging counterculture, became a part of the paper's groundbreaking new journalism. The column ran weekly for twenty years and became known for its cutting edge coverage and innovative short-form critiques. His work for the Village Voice is frequently cited as one of the highly influential examples of the new participatory journalism that made less rigid the distinction between the observer and the observed.
At the peak of the historic Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969, he managed to get inside the now famous bar with his Village Voice reporter's police credentials. He was the only journalist who reported about the siege from that dangerous vantage point. He would later be interviewed on this first-hand reporting in the 2010 documentary film, Stonewall Uprising.
Film producer and director
When it was first shown at the Cannes Film Festival, and subsequently played in theatres worldwide, the movie caused a sensation by exposing, for the first time ever, the underbelly of a corrupt movement, including its self-righteous religious leaders, that was about to burst into public awareness.
He followed up with a documentary film in 1977, called "Gizmo!", about improbable inventions of modern times, caught on film. The film received wide distribution and acclaim.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Howard had a weekend overnight show on WPLJ FM radio in New York City, and syndicated nationally, conducting extensive in-depth interviews with well-known musicians and notable figures, as well as playing an interesting mix of albums and songs in the "progressive" freeform rock music and Album-oriented rock formats.
He covered many of the tumultuous era's most legendary events including Woodstock, from which America heard his live radio reports, broadcast around the clock for five full days.
Over the years he interviewed an array of pop-culture icons: From Mick Jagger to Buckminster Fuller; from Janis Joplin to Margaret Mead. The list continues with Jim Morrison, Hugh Hefner, Jane Fonda, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, George Harrison, Andy Warhol, Ravi Shankar, Dustin Hoffman, Carole King, Jack Nicholson and many others.
Lecturer and pundit
Howard Smith became particularly well known for his insights into the growing influence and economic power of America's rapidly expanding Youth Culture. As a result, he frequently lectured and was a guest on many network TV shows.
1990s and beyond
In the early 1990s, he shifted his creative focus to concentrate his activities in the world of non-profit organizations. Amongst these, he is a former board member, and Director of Operations for the Mood Disorders Support Group (MDSG), a New York City organization helping people with depression, manic depression, and their families and friends.
He was writing a book about his involvement, as both participant and commentator, in the late 1950s beatnik scene, the explosive hippie 1960s, right through to the brouhaha that was to characterize the Nixonian mid-1970s.
On November 15, 2005, in New York City, the IFC Center showed "Marjoe" as the closing film in a series of documentaries called "Stranger Than Fiction". In their program they called it "a lost gem."
In 2012 he released digital copies of his interviews.
Smith is the divorced father of two sons. His son Cass Calder Smith, is a restaurant architect in New York City and San Francisco, California. His younger son Zachary Charles Smith, is a Master Scuba Diving Instructor, sailor, naturalist, and world traveler.
- Bernstein, Fred, "No, It's Not a New Air Sickness Bag—It's One of Howard Smith's Intriguing Gizmos", People magazine, March 24, 1980, Vol. 13, No. 12
- "Biography: Howard Smith", Directors' Fortnight, France.
- Kernochan, Sarah, "Marjoe"
- Makower, Joel; Lang, Michael; Rosenman, Joel, Woodstock: the oral history, SUNY Press, 2009. Cf. p.303
- Smith, Howard, "Scenes", The Village Voice, June 2, 1966, Vol. XI, No. 33 (re-published in 2009 in The Village Voice)
- Zinn, Howard; Arnove, Anthony, Voices of a People's History of the United States, Seven Stories Press, 2009. Cf. p,459
- Transcript of "Stonewall Uprising", American Experience series, Public Broadcasting Service, 2011
- Smith, Howard, "View from Inside: Full Moon Over The Stonewall", The Village Voice, July 1969. Reproduced in "Stonewall at 40: The Voice Articles That Sparked a Final Night of Rioting"], The Village Voice, Wednesday, June 24, 2009
- "Gotham DJ Revives '55 Xmas smash", Billboard, December 11, 1971. Cf. p.8
- Mood Disorders Support Group website
- "Stranger Than Fiction" film series - Spring 2005 film listing IFC Center, New York City
- "Legends of the ’60s, Just Being Themselves". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-19. "Mr. Smith, now 76 and by his own description laid low by cancer, said he kept the tapes at his downtown loft with a vague notion of someday using them for his memoirs. Over the years, though, they became buried under piles of detritus. ... Each collection, with about half a dozen interviews, will sell on iTunes and Amazon for $13."
- Smith, Howard; Newfield, Jack, "The Apocryphal Teeny Bopper", The Village Voice, July 14, 1966, Vol. XI, No. 39 (re-published in 2009 in The Village Voice)
- "Stonewall Participants", PBS American Experience, 2011
- Howard Smith at the Internet Movie Database
- Marjoe at the Internet Movie Database
- Gizmo! at the Internet Movie Database
- Howard Smith's comments on his 1970 Interview with Jim Morrison in the Village Voice
- Howard Smith's 1970 Interview in the Village Voice with Jim Morrison
- Howard Smith's classic article in the Village Voice on the Stonewall Riots, July 3, 1969
- Transcription of Howard Smith's radio interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, 13 December 1970 (archived 2011)