George Bundy Smith

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George Bundy Smith (born 1937, New Orleans, Louisiana) is a retired judge in New York State. While he was a law student at Yale University, he was part of the Freedom Ride from Atlanta, Georgia, to Montgomery, Alabama (May 24–25, 1961).[1]

Early life[edit]

Smith grew up in Washington, D.C. and attended Phillips Academy, where he was the only African-American in the Class of 1955. He received an A.B. degree from Yale University in 1959 and an LL.B. from Yale Law School in 1962. In 1961, William Sloane Coffin invited second-year law student Smith to go to Montgomery, Alabama as a Freedom Rider. He and ten other Freedom Riders were arrested in the Montgomery bus station and convicted of breach of the peace; their convictions were later reversed by the United States Supreme Court.


Smith was a judge of the Civil Court of New York City from 1975–86 and an associate justice of the Supreme Court of New York from 1987-92. Governor Mario Cuomo appointed him to a 14-year term on the New York Court of Appeals in September 1992. Although politicians such as David Dinkins and Charles Rangel urged outgoing Governor George Pataki to reappoint Smith[citation needed], he nominated Eugene F. Pigott, Jr. to the seat.[2]

In December 2005, Smith was awarded the William Nelson Cromwell Award by the New York County Lawyers Association. Smith served several terms on the Board of Trustees of the Horace Mann School.

Smith's twin sister, Inez Smith Reid, is a judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.


Smith is currently a partner at the New York law firm of Chadbourne & Parke. He is also a professor at Fordham Law School.


  1. ^ "Roster of Freedom Riders". American Experience, PBS. 
  2. ^ New York Court of Appeals

External links[edit]