I got a telephone call today informing me that George T. Smith had passed away Monday evening. I am grieving for his widow, who is a friend of mine as well, and I am grieving for myself, and I am grieving for the State of Georgia.
George T served as the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Georgia, as well as a Judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals. Following his public service, George T practiced law into his 90’s. He was a great Southern Gentleman.
I first met George T when I was a Senior in high school in 1970. My sociology teacher, brave man, taught us about politics by dividing us into parties, and having us have conventions, nominating candidates, and holding an election. We finished this study by having an assembly to which we invited the whole school, and inviting various candidates for state offices to come an speak to us
I was assigned to meet George T. Smith, running for Lieutenant Governor that year, at the door of the school, and to be his guide for the day. I have always since been grateful that I was assigned to George T. He was gracious and charming, astute and informative. He formed my opinion at 17 of what a political candidate should be. (And what few are now, sad to say.)
I met him again personally some 25 years later at the home of a mutual friend. I mentioned to him that I had been his hostess on that high school occasion; he gave a searching look to my face, and said to me, “When the photographer wanted to take pictures, I looked for you, but you were busy elsewhere!”
What a memory that guy had! What a guy he was! We will all miss him.
Editor’s Note: For more about George T. Smith, go to AJC.com