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Stephen A. Smith
Stephen Anthony Smith (born October 14, 1967) is an American sports television personality, sports radio host, sports journalist, and actor. Smith is a

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For other people with similar names, see Steven Smith.

This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. (April 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Stephen A. Smith Smith in 2017Born Stephen Anthony Smith
(1967-10-14) October 14, 1967 (age 50)
New York City, New York, U.S.Education Winston-Salem State UniversityOccupation
  • Sports television personality
  • sports radio host
  • sports journalist
  • actor

Stephen Anthony Smith[1] (born October 14, 1967) is an American sports television personality, sports radio host, sports journalist, and actor. Smith is a commentator on ESPN First Take, where he appears with Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim. He also makes frequent appearances as an NBA analyst on SportsCenter. He also is an NBA analyst for ESPN on NBA Countdown and NBA broadcasts on ESPN. Smith formerly hosted The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show on ESPN Radio New York 98.7 FM. He now hosts "The Stephen A. Smith Show" on the Chris Russo sports radio station: Mad Dog Sports Radio (SIRIUS XM Radio, channel 82) and is a featured columnist for,, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

  • 1 Early years
  • 2 Career
    • 2.1 Print media
    • 2.2 Radio
    • 2.3 Television
    • 2.4 Acting career
  • 3 Filmography
    • 3.1 Film
    • 3.2 Television
  • 4 First Take Catchphrases
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links
Early years

Smith was born in the Bronx borough of New York City on October 14, 1967. He was raised in the Hollis section of Queens.[2] Smith is the second youngest of six children.[1][3] He has four older sisters and a younger brother named Basil, who died in a car accident in October 1992. He also has a half brother on his father's side. Smith's parents were originally from Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. His father managed a hardware store. Smith's maternal grandmother was white, while the rest of his grandparents were black.[4] Smith graduated from Thomas Edison High School in Queens.[5]

After attending the Fashion Institute of Technology for one year, Smith received a basketball scholarship to attend 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. While still on the team, Smith wrote a column for the university newspaper, The News Argus, arguing Gaines should retire due to health issues.[6] He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

Career Print media

Smith began his print media career with the Winston-Salem Journal, the Greensboro News and Record and the New York Daily News.

Beginning in 1994, Smith had a position as a writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer. 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. 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.[7]


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 Washington, D.C.-based host Steve Czaban. On his radio program, Smith predicted that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh would all sign with the Miami Heat during 2010 free agency.[8] In early 2011, Smith became a resident FSR NBA insider and ended his morning 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.[9]

In 2013, Smith left ESPN for Sirius XM Radio, where he joined Chris Russo's Mad Dog Sports Channel. The move was announced just one day after Smith made some controversial comments on ESPN 2's First Take program regarding the Ray Rice situation.[10]

On January 17, 2017, Smith will move from Sirius XM's Mad Dog Sports channel back to ESPN. His daily two-hour program will be heard on WEPN in New York, KSPN in Los Angeles, Sirius XM's ESPN channel, and via syndication.[11]


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

Smith is currently an 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 is known for provocative analysis and dour delivery. Smith has appeared on other ESPN shows as well, including the reality series Dream Job, as well as serving as a frequent guest (and guest host) on Pardon the Interruption, Jim Rome is Burning and as a 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."[12] Though according to Big Lead Sports a source says that ESPN and Smith went to the negotiating table and couldn’t reach an agreement.[13] Since then, Smith has returned to ESPN.

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 July 25, 2014, Smith made controversial remarks that women may provoke domestic abuse on ESPN2's show ESPN First Take, in regards to the ongoing situation involving Baltimore Ravens' running back Ray Rice and his wife.[14] After criticism of the remarks, including comments on Twitter from ESPN reporter Michelle Beadle, Smith apologized for his words on a taped segment on ESPN. On July 29, 2014, Smith was suspended by ESPN for a week and did not appear on any of their programs again until August 6, 2014.[15]

In late 2014, Smith signed a multi-year deal with ESPN that will pay him over $3 million per year.[16]

In a March 9, 2015 episode of First Take, while discussing the topic of Philadelphia Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly trading away running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso, Smith said: "Chip Kelly has made decisions over the last couple of years that, dare I say, leave a few brothers feeling uncomfortable." Michael David Smith of NBS Sports believed that Smith had hinted Kelly's roster moves regarding the 2014 release of wide receiver DeSean Jackson, the McCoy trade and letting wide receiver Jeremy Maclin depart for free agency to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs, while still keeping wide receiver Riley Cooper on the Eagles' roster might be racially motivated.[17] In an interview with ESPN the Magazine that was published on May 8, 2015, McCoy admitted that while he respected Kelly as a head coach, he did not see eye to eye with him. McCoy also believed that some of the roster moves that are being made by Kelly are racially motivated.[18] Kelly has said that the roster moves that he has made have nothing to do with race, it has to do with finding the right players that fit well into his team.[19] Smith defended his comments by saying that he never used a form of the word racism to imply that Kelly was a racist.[20]

On June 11, 2015, Smith received criticism for a comment he made about female soccer players during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. While on SportsCenter, a replay was shown of a goal scored by Norway on a free kick against Germany. Tim Legler pointed out that the German players forming the wall turned their heads as the ball went by, and Smith joked that the players "might not have wanted to mess up their hair". Smith's comment was criticized as being sexist and a poor joke. ESPN said they spoke with Smith about the comment, and he later apologized in a series of tweets.[21]

On November 5, 2016, Smith joined Top Rank's broadcasting team for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas boxing Pay-per-View event.[22]

Acting career

Smith made his acting debut on the ABC soap opera General Hospital in a cameo appearance as a television reporter on the February 2, 2007, episode .[23] Later the same year, he was in the Chris Rock motion picture I Think I Love My Wife.

Beginning in 2014, he has appeared in a series of Oberto all-natural beef jerky commercials as "The Little Voice in Your Stomach," each time appearing alongside sports figures, such as star athletes Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and pro snowboarder Louie Vito, and notable basketball sportscaster Dick "Dickie V" Vitale. Smith returned to General Hospital on April 1, 2016, though at press time the role was unknown.[24]

Filmography Film Year Title Role Notes ref 2007 I Think I Love My Wife Allan romantic comedy film directed by and also starring Chris Rock. [25] Television Year Title Role Notes ref 2007 General Hospital Reporter Cameo appearance [23] 2016 Brick [24] 2017 First Take Catchphrases

Smith is known for his frequent use of catchphrases while hosting First Take, most notably, when describing something completely outrageous that does not make sense to him, "blasphemous."[26] He also frequently refers to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers as a "baaaaaaaad man"[27] (with the "A" stretched out for several seconds), and has been known to say many times that he knows absolutely nothing about the sport of hockey, such as by saying that tie games still exist in the sport[28] (the NHL abolished ties following the 2004-05 NHL lockout), despite the presence of three hockey teams from within the New York metropolitan area where he was brought up. He has also been known to show a strong hatred towards the Dallas Cowboys, often at times mocking them with their "How 'Bout Them Cowboys?" slogan in a sarcastic manner, and claiming that they are "an accident waiting to happen". A song was even made all about Smith's hatred of the Cowboys.[29] Smith has worn Aaron Rodgers' jersey on two separate occasions on First Take in 2017: once following the Cowboys' elimination at the hands of the Packers,[30] and once during a special taping of First Take from Dallas where Smith received boos from the live crowd.[31]

  1. ^ a b Greenfield, Karl Taro (August 1, 2005), "Stephen A., As In . . .", Sports Illustrated, 103 (4), archived from the original on September 16, cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^ Britell, Alexander (October 8, 2012). "For ESPN's Stephen A Smith, Finding a Sanctuary in St Thomas". Caribbean Journal. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  3. ^ Mizell, Gina (June 18, 2012). "Interview with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith–the long version". The Oklahoman. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  4. ^ "Cowboys: "Dak Prescott Connects To Team In Ways Tony Romo Cannot"". YouTube. January 11, 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  5. ^ "Stephen X". Philadelphia Magazine. December 2004. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  6. ^ Richard Sandomir, ESPN's New Master of the Offensive Foul, The New York Times, July 31, 2005, Accessed January 22, 2009.
  7. ^ Stephen A. Smith in Inquirer After 2-Year Feud | The Maynard Institute Archived February 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. (February 8, 2010). Retrieved on December 22, 2011.
  8. ^ LeBron James Picks Miami: Stephen A. Smith Was Right – Speakeasy – WSJ. (July 8, 2010). Retrieved on July 26, 2014.
  9. ^ Stephen A. Smith is reportedly close to new deal to return to ESPN. NY Daily News (January 26, 2011) Retrieved February 10, 2012
  10. ^ "Raissman: Stephen A. Smith, fresh off rant on domestic violence, heading to Sirius". Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  11. ^ January 4, 2017
  12. ^ Stephen A. Smith is leaving ESPN – (April 17, 2009). Retrieved on December 22, 2011.
  13. ^ Enjoy Stephen A. Smith While You Can – He’s Got About Six Three Weeks Left at ESPN. The Big Lead (April 16, 2009). Retrieved on December 22, 2011.
  14. ^ Grenoble, Ryan (July 25, 2014). "Stephen A Smith: Abuse Victims Should Learn 'About The Elements Of Provocation'". Retrieved March 22, 2017 – via Huff Post.
  15. ^ Mandell, Nina (29 July 2014). "Stephen A. Smith won't be on ESPN for a week after controversial comments". USA Today. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  16. ^ turner, gus. "ESPN stephan a smith agree to new contract". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  17. ^ "ESPN's Stephen A. Smith suggests racism in Chip Kelly's roster moves". Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  18. ^ "McCoy: Kelly dumped 'the good black players'". Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  19. ^ "Chip Kelly on racism, extra points, Sam Bradford and all things Eagles OTA". Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 2, 2015. Retrieved May 31, 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "ESPN host Stephen A. Smith makes terrible joke about Women's World Cup players not wanting to mess up their hair". Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 8, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ a b "Disney Inundates General Hospital Episode With References To New Year's Eve College Football Playoff Games". Deadspin. December 30, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  24. ^ a b "A HOST OF CAMEOS ON GH". Soap Opera Digest. United States. American Media, Inc. March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  25. ^ "I Think I Love My Wife". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  26. ^ ESPN (2017-05-09), Stephen A. Smith's 'Blasphemous' Reactions on First Take | ESPN, retrieved 2018-05-08
  27. ^ HOVD (2017-08-08), "Aaron Rodgers is a baaaaaad man"- Stephen A Smith, retrieved 2018-05-08
  28. ^ "ESPN's Stephen A. Smith believes '3 ties' make Blackhawks' NHL record inferior to Miami Heat's streak (VIDEO)". Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  29. ^ ESPN (2017-05-30), Stephen A. Mashup: ‘Cowboys Are An Accident Waiting To Happen’ | First Take | ESPN, retrieved 2018-05-08
  30. ^ ESPN (2017-02-01), Stephen A. Smith Celebrates Cowboys' Loss By Wearing Rodgers' Jersey | First Take | January 26, 2017, retrieved 2018-05-08
  31. ^ ESPN (2017-09-08), Stephen A. Smith dramatically comes into Dallas wearing Aaron Rodgers jersey | First Take | ESPN, retrieved 2018-05-08
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The American Dream
The American Dream
Alex Kontos and Maxwell Bello reside in the same city, but they live in different worlds. Bello is the head of a vicious criminal organization that has terrorized inner-city Detroit for decades. Alex and his parents are Greek immigrant shop owners struggling to achieve their American Dream.Two senseless murders turn Alex's life upside down. Destitute and alone, his future looks bleak. While the Bello gang prepares to consummate an historic drug score, Alex tries to figure out how to pick up the pieces of a shattered pipe dream.Then, in a singular moment of serendipity, an overheard conversation changes everything. The lives of Alex Kontos and Maxwell Bello are suddenly thrust onto converging paths, and Alex begins a tense, desperate pursuit for justice.Along the way, he encounters an array of unforgettable characters who help him in both planned and unexpected ways. It's one young man versus an army of ruthless killers in a battle of wits.The American Dream is a gripping thriller that takes the reader on a page-turning joyride, and it's anyone's guess as to how it will end.

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The Jesus Life: Eight Ways to Recover Authentic Christianity
The Jesus Life: Eight Ways to Recover Authentic Christianity
Lost? Explore the way to life!We've lost the way that leads to life. With competing priorities and rival demands, we're more confused than ever in how to live the life Jesus offers. Is it the church way, the American way, or the busy way? With so many ways facing us, we're more paralyzed than alive; more perplexed than sure; more bewildered than confident. The Jesus Life offers eight compelling ways to help us rediscover what it really means to follow Jesus in the 21st century.

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The Lazarus Life: Spiritual Transformation for Ordinary People
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I am Lazarus.  And so are you.The life of Lazarus is one of the most profound stories in the Bible. The chronicle of an ordinary man who found himself at the center of an extraordinary miracle. A divine moment that fully revealed Christ’s power through a resurrection that preceded His very own. Yet the story of Lazarus also holds a powerful parallel for us today. It tells of a life filled with hope and heartbreak, expectancy and disappointment, death and life. Simply, it is the story of every believer.

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The Naked Voice: A Wholistic Approach to Singing
The Naked Voice: A Wholistic Approach to Singing
In The Naked Voice, W. Stephen Smith invites all singers to improve their vocal technique through his renowned and time-tested wholistic method. Focusing not only on the most important technical, but also on the often overlooked psychological and spiritual elements of learning to sing, his book allows readers to develop their own full and individual identities as singers. With philosophies and techniques drawn from a lifetime of teaching voice, Smith demonstrates how one can reveal the true unique sound of one's own voice by singing with the whole self. The master's method, presented in concrete and comprehensible terms with helpful illustrations, is enhanced by a companion website containing exercises performed by singers from Smith's own studio-singers whose talent and training bring them across the country and around the world. The clear and easy style of The Naked Voice welcomes the reader into Smith's teaching studio, and into conversation with Smith himself as he presents the six simple and elegant exercises that form the core of his method. These exercises provide a foundation for free singing, and lead singers through the step-by-step process of mastering the technique. Throughout, Smith speaks sympathetically and encouragingly to the singer in search of an unencumbered and effective approach to the art. The Naked Voice is a must-read for all singers, giving teachers and students, amateurs and professionals, access to the methods and concepts that have earned Smith his reputation as one of the most highly-sought-after vocal instructors in the international arena today.

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Embracing Soul Care: Making Space for What Matters Most
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(Foreword by Dr. Gary Chapman) In a world of quick fixes and instant gratification, author Steve Smith invites the reader to focus on what truly matters most—the lifelong process of nurturing our souls by focusing on relationships, spiritual and personal growth and healing, and living out God's purpose for our lives.

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Unbelievable Freedom: How We Transformed Our Health and Happiness with Intermittent Fasting
Unbelievable Freedom: How We Transformed Our Health and Happiness with Intermittent Fasting
Ryan & Kim Smith, also known as "The Super Shrinking Smiths," struggled with dysfunctional eating throughout their lives. They had been on the hamster wheel of diets from long before they met. From the time of their wedding in 2003, they ate their way through a decade plagued by massive weight gain until 2014, at which point they topped out at well over 500 pounds combined. First Ryan began a weight loss effort, then Kim followed suit, eventually leading them both to intermittent fasting as outlined in Gin Stephens’ “Delay, Don’t Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle.” At this point, Ryan and Kim have lost a collective 220 pounds. The journey transformed not only their connection to food, but to themselves and to each other. Their lives are filled with a peaceful joy that they hope to share with others. The Smiths specifically hope to reach couples who feel their separate issues with food are magnified in the context of their relationship. They run a busy Facebook support group called Fasting, Feasting, FREEDOM with Kim & Ryan. Updates about their lives can always be found at

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Maize: Roots, Shoots, & Moccasin Boots
Maize: Roots, Shoots, & Moccasin Boots
Maize: Roots, Shoots, and Moccasin Boots reveals the long, complex history of the plant we know as corn, Zea mays. From its humble beginnings as the native teosinte plant, domesticated in the Mexican lowlands over 7000 years ago, this amazing plant has deep cultural roots that have been inextricably intertwined with the history of civilization throughout the world. Its spiritual, sacred, and religious significance mirror its importance as the role it played in the sustenance of humankind for millennia. This history of corn is at once thrilling, educational, and inspiring! So much more than the history of this important crop, this book also provides the reader with excellent information of the botany of the corn plant, its types, varieties, planting, growing, breeding, information on soil and diseases, pollinating, acclimating day length sensitive varieties, and seed saving. Stunning photos of amazing and rare corns grace the pages to give the reader a glimpse of the staggering genetic diversity of corn.

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The Scramble for Europe, Young Africa on its way to the Old Continent
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From the harrowing situation of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean in rubber dinghies to the crisis on the US-Mexico border, mass migration is one of the most urgent issues facing the West today. At the same time, viable solutions seem ever more remote, with the increasing polarization of public attitudes and political positions.In this book, renowned journalist Stephen Smith argues that current events must be understood as part of a dramatic demographic shift. Today, 510 million people live inside EU borders, and 1.25 billion people in Africa. In 2050, 450 million Europeans will face 2.5 billion Africans – 5 times their number. The demographics are implacable. The scramble for Europe will become as inexorable as the “scramble for Africa” was at the end of the 19th century, when 400 million people lived north and only 200 million lived south of the Mediterranean. Then it was all about raw materials and national pride, now it is about young Africans seeking a better life on the Old Continent, the island of prosperity within their reach. If Africa’s migratory patterns follow the historic precedents set by other less developed parts of the world, in thirty years, Europe will include at least 150 million Afro-Europeans. Seeking to address the question of how Europe will cope with an influx of this magnitude, Smith argues for a path between the two extremes of today’s debate, advocating migratory policies that strike a balance between compassion and the interests of European nations.The result of years of research by one of the leading experts on contemporary Africa, The Scramble for Europe will be of great interest to anyone concerned with the great social and political questions of our time.

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