Joseph F. Smith (Pennsylvania politician)

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Joseph F. Smith
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 3rd district
In office
July 21, 1981 – January 3, 1983
Preceded by Raymond Lederer
Succeeded by Robert Borski
Chairman of the
Philadelphia Democratic City Committee
In office
April 14, 1983 [1] – June 16, 1986[2]
Preceded by David Glancey[a]
Succeeded by Bob Brady
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 4th district
In office
January 5, 1971 – July 21, 1981
Preceded by Joseph Scanlon
Succeeded by Joe Rocks
Personal details
Born January 24, 1920
Died May 14, 1999(1999-05-14) (aged 79)
Political party Democratic
a.^ Smith defeated Edgar Campbell, who had been serving as the city party's Acting Chairman since Glancy's resignation became effective March 10, 1983,[3] for the post.

Joseph Francis Smith (January 24, 1920 – May 14, 1999), was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania during the Ninety-seventh United States Congress (1981–1983).


Smith was born in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - a community composed of blue collar families, mostly of Irish, Polish and Russian heritage. He was married to Regina Bukowski-Smith, also of the Port Richmond section in Philadelphia. They had one daughter, Regina. Smith was a Sergeant and Purple Heart recipient in the United States Army during World War II.

Political career[edit]

After leaving the military, Smith became active in local politics, serving first as Ward Chair for James A. Byrne between 1965 and 1970. He became Byrne's Administrative Assistant during that time. He then served in the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1971 until 1981, and eventually became Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations.

He won election in 1981 as a Democrat to the 97th Congress through a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of United States Representative Raymond Lederer due to the ABSCAM sting.[4] Smith lost the Democratic primary in the special election to David B. Glancey, but then ran as a Republican, with the blessing of the GOP, in the general election and won. He promised during his campaign that he would caucus with the Democrats if elected.[4]

After redistricting in 1982, Smith narrowly lost the Democratic primary against fellow congressman Tom Foglietta. He went on to become Democratic City Chairman in Philadelphia between 1983 and 1986. Smith also served as the 31st Ward Leader for more than three decades.[clarification needed]


In honor of Smith's years of service to his community, the United States Postal Service facility located at 1602 Frankford Avenue in Philadelphia ("Kensington Station") was renamed as the Joseph F. Smith Post Office Building.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Democrats Elect Smith As Chairman". The Philadelphia Inquirer. April 15, 1983. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Mayor's Choice Elected City Democratic Chief". The Philadelphia Inquirer. June 17, 1986. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Democrats' Dispute Ends For Moment". The Philadelphia Inquirer. March 8, 1983. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Rudin, Ken (2007-06-06). "The Equal-Opportunity Culture of Corruption". Retrieved 2007-07-29. 
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Raymond Lederer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Robert Borski
Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by
Joseph Scanlon
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 4th District
Succeeded by
Joe Rocks
Party political offices
Preceded by
David B. Glancey1
Chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Bob Brady
Notes and references
1. Immediately preceded as Acting Chairman by Edgar Campbell.