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Joseph Yeardley Smith
Birth: May 10, 1931
Death: Jan. 17, 2006

Reporter. Obituary Editor. Born the son of an advertising executive in Brooklyn, New York, he attended Choate preparatory school and Harvard before leaving to serve as a Marine during the Korean War. In 1958 he landed a job as a reporter for United Press International and filed stories from locations such as Moscow, London and Warsaw where he served as bureau manager. In 1965 he became the assistant foreign editor at The Post in Washington, D.C. By 1969 Smith began his tenure with the metropolitan bureau, ranging across Virginia in pursuit of stories. At the time, The Post had no dedicated staff for obituaries, assigning them randomly to the novice reporters or as penance. In 1977, however, Smith was named the obituaries editor. Smith once wrote; "The occasion for obituaries is death, which is sad. But the subject of obituaries is life itself, which is wonderful." His occasionally controversial but always honest obituaries included those for Charlie Chaplin, Jesse Owens, E.B. White, Albert Speer, and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. He continued working for The Post until 1996 after which he did contract writing as an obituary reporter which he called "the most interesting and difficult work I have ever done." Smith was married twice and had five children including his daughter and namesake, the actress Yeardley Smith. Smith died of lung cancer at his home in Annandale, Virginia at the age of 74. 
Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.
Created by: Iola
Record added: Jan 26, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13125534
Joseph Yeardley Smith
Added by: Anonymous
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Rest in Peace
- Bruce Nuckowski
 Added: Mar. 6, 2015

- Lance
 Added: Dec. 24, 2012
What an interesting job you had! Rest in Peace, Joseph. See you in Heaven.
- Mary
 Added: Nov. 21, 2008
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