Remembering Todd Smith

Todd C. Smith

It’s been a little more than 20 years ago now that Todd Smith was killed in South America, apparently by cocaine traffickers. And it’s been a little more than 26 years ago that Todd graduated from Washington and Lee after majoring in English and serving as co-editor of the Ring-tum Phi. But a column in the Nov. 20 Tampa Tribune last week  20 years t0 the day since Todd’s death — brought Todd’s story back to life in a powerful way. Tribune writer Steve Otto wrote of Todd: “He had an enormous appetite for news and it was not confined to local county commissions. He wanted to write on a global scale.” Otto’s description can be paired with something that was written immediately after Todd’s death in 1989. A story in the St. Petersburg Times on Nov. 22, 1989, began: “At a dinner two years ago before Todd C. Smith left two years ago to cover the Nicaraguan civil war, a colleague offered a simple toast. ‘To Todd Smith,’ said a St. Petersburg Times reporter, ‘who had the guts to do what the rest of us just talked about doing.'” Todd is remembered at W&L through the memorial fellowship fund established in 1990 and designed to reflect Todd’s interest in promoting understanding of foreign issues and cultures through journalism. Todd and his story need to remembered.

2 Responses to “Remembering Todd Smith”


  1. 1 Emory Edwards '84 December 2, 2009 at 12:53 am

    Todd’s artwork was on all of the Fancy Dress t-shirts during my time at W&L, with his trademark Washington and Lee both depicted in sunglasses. He was always a trip, had a great sense of humor, and that great sense of purpose that ultimately cost his life. RIP, my friend. I miss you. Em

  2. 2 Peter Cronin November 30, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Thanks for recalling Todd’s achievements in this way and making more of the alumni body aware of his story and his life. For those of who had the privilege to know him and call him a friend, his loss remains with us.
    – Peter Cronin ’84


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