Harry Smith Biography

News Anchor, Journalist (1951–)
Emmy Award-winning journalist Harry Smith worked for CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning. He also hosted A&E Network's 'Biography' series. In 2011, Smith joined NBC News.


Born in Illinois in 1951, Emmy Award-winning international journalist Harry Smith worked with CBS Evening News and as co-anchor of CBS This Morning. He also hosted of A&E Network's Biography series. In 2011, Smith moved to NBC News where he has worked on such programs as Rock Center, NBC Nightly News and Today.

Early Life and Career

Journalist and television news anchor Harry Smith was born August 21, 1951, in Lansing, Illinois. During his long career in television, Harry Smith has dedicated himself to covering all sorts of news stories, from political conventions to natural disasters. He developed an interest in broadcasting at an early age. "My mother tells this story that I came home one time when I was 4 or 5, stood on a chair and demanded to be heard," Smith told People magazine. The youngest of eight children, he attended Central College in Pella, Iowa, on a football scholarship.

The Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist started his career in radio. He worked for radio stations in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Denver, Colorado, before making the move to television news in 1981. For several years, Smith was a local reporter and anchor in Denver. 

CBS News

In 1986, he joined the staff of CBS News, serving as a reporter based out of Dallas, Texas. Smith soon became a contributor to the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. For the news program, he developed a weekly report called "Travels with Harry," which focused on unique people and places off the beaten track in America. He also served as co-anchor on CBS This Morning from 1987 to 1996.

During his career, Smith has conducted interviews with a wide range of international and national leaders, including one-on-ones with former presidents Clinton, Bush, Ford, Carter and Nixon, former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, as well as leading figures from the fields of literature, performing arts, science, education, film, television, and theater.

Smith reported on the many major news stories, including disasters both natural and man-made, from the Persian Gulf War to the war in Bosnia to the horrific floods of the Midwest, filing stories from Jerusalem, Paris, London, Madrid, Prague, Cairo, Italy, Moscow and Tokyo, to Hungary, Poland, and Jordan, as well as anchoring and reporting on the Olympics in 1992 and 1994.

In 1999, Smith took on a new challenge. He was named the primary host of A&E Network's Biography series in January 1999 and made first appearance on the series two months later. He also rejoined the morning news scene as one of the anchors of The Early Show in 2002. Smith stayed with the program until 2010. n addition to his work on The Early Show, Smith hosted a daily radio feature "Just a Minute" for CBS News Radio Network. He also served as a substitute host for CBS News Sunday Morning and has contributed stories to other CBS news programs, such as 48 Hours.

Switch to NBC

After 25 years at CBS, Smith made a dramatic career change in 2011. He joined the staff of NBC News. One of his first projects after making the switch was serving as a correspondent on the news magazine Rock Center with Brian Williams. Smith was with the program until it went off the air in 2013. 

Since then, Smith has appeared on numerous NBC news shows. One of his recent stories had Smith examining on the health benefits of medical marijuana for NBC Dateline. He is also a frequent contributor to NBC Nightly News, covering an array of national human interest stories. Smith also sometimes serves as a correspondent for Today and Today Weekend

Smith is married to Andrea Joyce, a sports reporter. They have two sons and live in New York City.

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