Julian Sinclair Smith

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Julian Sinclair Smith
BornMay 5, 1920[1][2]
DiedApril 19, 1993 (aged 72)
OccupationElectrical engineer
Television executive
Known forFounding Sinclair Broadcast Group
Spouse(s)Carolyn Beth Cunningham

Julian Sinclair Smith (May 5, 1920 – April 19, 1993) was an American electrical engineer and television executive. He was the founder of the Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Early life[edit]

Smith was born in 1921 in Baltimore, the son of a grain exporter.[3] He received his electrical engineering degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1952.[3]


Smith founded Sinclair Broadcast Group in 1971 as a single local television station; namely, Baltimore, Maryland's WBFF-TV.[4][5] In 1986, he and his family incorporated Sinclair Broadcast Group.[6]

Personal life and death[edit]

Smith married Carolyn Beth Cunningham. They had four sons, including David, who became CEO of the Sinclair Broadcast Group in 1988.

Smith died in 1993, at the age of 72, after suffering Parkinson's disease.[3][6] As of December 2016, his four sons are the majority shareholders of Sinclair Broadcast Group.[7]


  1. ^ U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947
  2. ^ U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007
  3. ^ a b c Ettlin, David Michael (20 April 1993). "Julian Sinclair Smith, TV pioneer". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  4. ^ De La Merced, Michael J. (3 May 2017). "Fox's Unfamiliar but Powerful Television Rival: Sinclair". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  5. ^ "History: 1970s". Sinclair Broadcast Group. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Renovated 'Radiation Lab' Lobby Will Honor Julian Sinclair Smith" (Press release). Johns Hopkins University. 1 May 1996. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  7. ^ Farhi, Paul (23 December 2016). "How a giant TV company helped Trump's campaign". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 July 2017.