University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations


December 31, 2004
Contact: Keith Ayers at (251) 460-6211

George Smith, First Public Relations Director At The University Of South Alabama, Passes Away

George D. Smith, the first public relations director for the University of South Alabama, died Thursday, Dec. 30, at a Mobile hospital. He was 68.

Smith, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, was born in Lead, S.D., reared in Dubuque, Iowa, and was a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Army. He served two tours of duty in Southeast Asia, and also served in the Vietnam War.

After a military career that spanned from 1956 to 1984, including a stint as professor of military science at USA from 1981-84, Smith was appointed director of public relations at the University of South Alabama, where he served until his retirement in 1998. Following retirement, he served as adjunct instructor in the communication department at USA until his death.

"George was a great friend to me, and an absolute supporter of the University for many years," Gordon Moulton, president of the University of South Alabama, said. "He was enthusiastic about everything he did and everyone he met."

Smith earned his bachelor's degree in history from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and his master's in public relations and journalism from the University of Wisconsin.

He is survived by his wife, Bobbi; four children, Greg Smith, Stephanie Laird, Geoff Smith and Pam Porterfield; five sisters, Rita Murray, Paula Zwack, Charlotte McCoy, Christine Sweeney and Rachel Gerber; and seven grandchildren. He was preceded in death by one grandchild.

Smith's body will be donated to the USA College of Medicine. A memorial service will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 8:30 a.m., at Langan Park.

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