James Smart R.I.P.

James Smart, maybe the best columnist in the history of the legendary Philadelphia Evening and Sunday Bulletin, died April 15. He was 92.

He is survived by Stephen J. Smart (Alene) and Leslie Zavodnick (Steven); grandchildren Elizabeth Sherstad (Andrew), Jillian Zavodnick (Nicholas Gutowski), and Matthew Smart (Eilise Blessington); and six great-grandchildren. He is also survived by a sister, Ruth Wiren (the late Raymond) and nieces, nephews, and grand- and great-grand nieces and nephews. 

His wife, Barbara, died in 2019. They had been married 41 years.

R.I.P. Mr. Smart.

James Smart R.I.P.

One thought on “James Smart R.I.P.”

  1. Jim Smart was promoted in the early 60s to assistant tv editor at The Bulletin and did the weekly tv listing, a two-page guide for the Sunday paper. He left the job of assistant features editor (also called the Comics Editor) and I succeeded him. About a year later he was promoted to news side (from TV/Amusements) and I was again promoted, this time to take his tv job. A couple years later I was promoted to rewrite after Bill Dickinson gave me a test – write a feature story on West Conshohocken from scratch on a Tuesday, deliver it on Thursday to Charlie Johnson, who then gave it to Dickinson . On Saturday afternoon I looked at the Suburban Northwest section and my story was 8 cols across the top of the front page. I started on rewrite immediately the next Monday. Jim and I were good friends and the most interesting comment was when he had been writing his back page daily column for a year and explained to me: “The first 40 columns were easy, but then it got difficult and challenging to keep coming up with good material every time.” He did keep it up and was a kind, noble and brilliant man. I last visited his home in West Mount Airy while I was publishing the West Oak Lane Leader newspaper and he had retired and was just as genial as always.

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