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 Smileyon PBS, and radio show The Tavis Smiley Show on Public Radio International. The first American ever to simultaneously host signature talk shows on both public television and public radio, Smiley also offers political commentary twice weekly on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. He also created the Tavis Smiley Foundation, whose mission is to enlighten, encourage and empower black youth, as well as Tavis Smiley Presents, a subsidiary of The Smiley Group, Inc., that brings ideas and people together through symposiums, seminars, forums, and town hall meetings. In addition, he has authored ten books, and made publishing history when the book he edited, the Covenant with Black America, reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. His latest book, What I Know For Sure: My Story of Growing up in America also made the New York Times bestseller list.
In 2004, Texas Southern University honored Smiley with the opening of the Tavis Smiley School of Communications and the Tavis Smiley Center for Professional Media Studies, making him the youngest African American to ever have a professional school and center named after him on a college or university campus. Time selected Smiley as one of America’s 50 most promising young leaders, Newsweek profiled him as one of the “20 people changing how Americans get their news” and dubbed him one of the nation’s “captains of the airwaves,” and Vanity Fair inducted him into their Hall of Fame.