From his celebrated conversations with world figures, to his work to inspire the next generation of leaders, as a broadcaster, author, advocate, and philanthropist, Tavis Smiley continues to be an outstanding voice for change. Smiley, who started his career as an aide to the late Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, hosts the late night television talk show Tavis Smiley on PBS and radio show The Tavis Smiley Show from Public Radio International (PRI).
The first American ever to simultaneously host signature talk shows on both public television and public radio, Smiley also created the Tavis Smiley Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to enlighten, encourage and empower today's youth.
In addition to his radio and television work, Smiley has authored fourteen books. His memoir, What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America, became a New York Times best-seller, and the book he edited, Covenant with Black America, became the first nonfiction book by a Black-owned publisher to reach #1 on The New York Times’ best-sellers list.
His latest book is Death of a King, a revealing and dramatic chronicle of the twelve months leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.
In 2009, TIME magazine honored Smiley as one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People.” The annual TIME 100 list profiles men and women whose power, talent or moral example has made a significant difference in the world.
Recently, Indiana University named the atrium of its School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) building, The Tavis Smiley Atrium. Smiley is also the recipient of the Du Bois Medal from Harvard University and the 2009 Interdependence Day Prize from Demos in Istanbul, Turkey. Vanity Fair inducted him into their Hall of Fame.
"Mr. Smiley's presence helped us expand attendance at our event 70% over last year and raise nearly as much more money, despite the economic crisis."