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Tavis Smiley Biography

Birth Place:
Gulfport, Mississippi, United States

Fast Facts

  • Left Indiana University in 1988 to work for Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, before finishing his degree in 2003
  • Was the presenter of America I Am: The African American Imprint, a traveling museum exhibition
  • Founder of The Tavis Smiley Foundation, which provides leadership training and development for American children
  • Received the Du Bois Medal from Harvard University
  • Received an honorary doctorate degree from Indiana University


  • Joyce Marie Roberts -- Mother
  • Emory Garnell Smiley -- Stepfather