Stephen A. Smith
File:Stephen A Smith cropped.jpg
BornStephen Anthony Smith
(1967-10-14) October 14, 1967 (age 52)
Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, USA
EducationWinston-Salem State University
OccupationSports journalist, television host, radio host

Stephen Anthony Smith[1] (born October 14, 1967) is an American sports journalist, talk show host, and television personality. He currently hosts The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show on ESPN Radio New York 98.7 FM, and is a featured columnist for Smith also is a regular on ESPN First Take, where he appears with Skip Bayless.

Early yearsEdit

Smith was born in Tortola, BVI and raised in the Hollis neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens. He has four older sisters who he does not get along with.[2]

He attended Winston-Salem State University, a historically black university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While in college, he played basketball under Hall of Fame coach Clarence Gaines. He later wrote an article for the university newspaper, The News Argus, suggesting that Gaines retired due to health issues.[3] He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.


Print mediaEdit

In 1994, Smith was a sportswriter for the Daily News in New York City.[3]

Since 1994, Smith has had a position as a writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He was initially a general sportswriter for the Inquirer before he began reporting on the Philadelphia 76ers as their NBA columnist, and eventually, as a general sports columnist. On August 23, 2007, the Inquirer announced that Smith would no longer be writing columns and would instead be demoted back to the position of general assignment reporter. Prior to his job with the Inquirer, Smith has had positions with the Winston-Salem Journal, the Greensboro News and Record and the New York Daily News. In 2008, the Inquirer ended its relationship with Smith, which coincided with Smith starting his own blog, In February 2010, Smith returned to the Philadelphia Inquirer after winning an arbitrator's ruling that he was to be reinstated, but having to agree to remove all of his political views from his website and from cable news shows.[4]


On April 11, 2005, Smith became the host of a weekday noon to 2 p.m. radio show on WEPN in New York City with his "right hand man B.T. (Brandon Tierney)". On September 20, 2007, his radio show was shifted to the 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. slot, with the second hour being broadcast nationally on ESPN Radio, replacing The Dan Patrick Show (Mike Tirico took over the first two hours). The show came to an end in April 2008 as Smith sought to expand his career in television, and beginning May 1 Scott Van Pelt began hosting in the 3–4 p.m. hour that was previously Smith's.

In November 2009, Smith became an on-air contributor to Fox Sports Radio, and was the one who broke the story of Allen Iverson's retirement on the Chris Myers-Steve Hartman afternoon show on November 25. Iverson later ended his short retirement, and re-joined the Philadelphia 76ers on December 2.

Smith became a Fox Sports Radio morning show host on January 4, 2010, replacing popular longtime Washington, D.C.-based host Steve Czaban. Smith can also be heard from time to time as a caller to the Mark Levin and Sean Hannity radio shows.

In early 2011, Smith became a resident FSR NBA insider and ended his morning show, which was replaced by the Indianapolis-based Zakk and Jack show.

It was announced on February 1, 2011, that he would be returning to ESPN as a columnist for and host weekday local radio shows on 1050 ESPN Radio New York (WEPN-AM) at 7–9 p.m. ET as well as 710 ESPN Radio Los Angeles (KSPN-AM) at 6–8 p.m. PT. April 24, 2012 was Smith's last show for LA 710 ESPN.[5]


Smith started his television career on the now-defunct cable network CNN/SI in 1999.

Smith is frequently seen as a basketball analyst and talk show host on ESPN and ESPN First Take. In August 2005, he started hosting a daily hour-long show on ESPN called Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith. After the show was cancelled in January 2007, he mainly concentrated on basketball, serving as an NBA analyst.

Smith has appeared on other ESPN shows as well, including the reality series Dream Job, as well as a frequent guest (and guest host) on Pardon the Interruption, Jim Rome is Burning and as a popular participant on 1st and 10 . He has appeared as an anchor on the Sunday morning edition of SportsCenter, but on April 17, 2009 announced on his website that he would be leaving ESPN on May 1, 2009. The Los Angeles Times reported that ESPN commented that, "We decided to move in different directions."[6] Though according to Big Lead Sports a source says that ESPN and Smith went to the negotiating table and couldn’t reach an agreement.[7] Apparently, ESPN’s offer was considerably lower than Smith’s previous contracts – which were multi-media faceted – and Smith passed. He was then offered the decision to work through the remainder of his contract, or walk away and still get paid, and a source says Smith decided to work. Since then, Smith has returned to ESPN.

Smith appeared on MSNBC Wednesday July 8 and 9, 2009 as a special commentator on the Michael Jackson memorial funeral service. He provided a unique commentary on the choice of public funding for the celebration contrasted to the victory parade after the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship. Smith has recently become a regular guest on the MSNBC's Morning Joe, The Dylan Ratigan Show and The Ed Show. Recently he has acquired the service of Steve Harvey's barber, Terrance 'Sonny' Harris. In 2012 he began to wear Harvey's once signature hair piece.

It was announced April 30, 2012 on air that Smith would be joining First Take on a permanent, five-day per week basis under a new format for the show called "Embrace Debate" in which he squares off against longtime "First Take" commentator Skip Bayless.

On March 4, 2013, when asked to compare the Miami Heat's 14-game win streak to the Chicago Blackhawks' current point streak, Smith said the following: "I don't even know why this is a question. Of course it's the Miami Heat," Smith, of course, said. "Excuse me, when it was 21 games it was really an eight-game streak. There are three ties. I'm sorry that doesn't count. I'm not in to the tie business. This isn't soccer... I'm sorry I'm not buying it." Controversy followed Smith's comments, especially since the NHL hadn't employed a tie system since April 2004, just before the 2005–06 NHL season lockout.

Acting careerEdit

Smith made his acting debut in a cameo appearance as a television reporter on the February 2, 2007 episode on the ABC soap opera General Hospital. Later that year, he appeared in the Chris Rock motion picture I Think I Love My Wife, during a double-date scene.[8]


  1. Greenfield, Karl Taro (August 1, 2005), "Stephen A., As In . . .", Sports Illustrated 103 (4),
  2. Andrews, Phil. Sports Journalism: A Practical Guide.. Reprinted. ed. London: Sage Publications Ltd, 2005. Print.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Richard Sandomir, ESPN's New Master of the Offensive Foul, The New York Times, July 31, 2005, Accessed January 22, 2009.
  4. Stephen A. Smith in Inquirer After 2-Year Feud | The Maynard Institute. (2010-02-08). Retrieved on 2011-12-22.
  5. Stephen A. Smith is reportedly close to new deal to return to ESPN. NY Daily News (January 26, 2011) Retrieved February 10, 2012
  6. Stephen A. Smith is leaving ESPN – (2009-04-17). Retrieved on 2011-12-22.
  7. Enjoy Stephen A. Smith While You Can – He’s Got About Six Three Weeks Left at ESPN. The Big Lead (2009-04-16). Retrieved on 2011-12-22.
  8. Stephen A. Smith.

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