Frank E. Smith

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For other people named Frank Smith, see Frank Smith (disambiguation).

Frank Ellis Smith (February 21, 1918 – August 2, 1997) was a U.S. Representative from Mississippi.

Born in Sidon, Mississippi, Smith attended the public schools of Sidon and Greenwood, Mississippi. He graduated from Sunflower Junior College, Moorhead, Mississippi, in 1936, and from the University of Mississippi in 1941. He entered the United States Army as a private on February 9, 1942.

He was a graduate of Field Artillery Officers Candidate School and served in Europe as a captain with the Two Hundred and Forty-third Field Artillery Battalion, Third Army. He was discharged to the Reserves as a major of Field Artillery on February 13, 1946.

He was managing editor of the Greenwood Morning Call[1] in 1946 and 1947, and a student at American University, Washington, D.C., in 1946. He was a legislative assistant to United States Senator John Stennis from 1947 to 1949, and served as a member of the state senate from 1948 to 1950.

Smith was elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-second and to the five succeeding Congresses, and served from January 3, 1951, until his resignation November 14, 1962. He was unsuccessful for renomination in 1962 to the Eighty-eighth Congress.

Although he signed the Southern Manifesto, condemning Brown v. Board of Education, he worked quietly for racial reconciliation. In his book "Congressman From Mississippi" (1964) he detailed his non race based politics.

He served as member of the Board of Directors, Tennessee Valley Authority, from November 14, 1962 to May 18, 1972; in 1972 he ran third in a congressional primary in seeking reelection to the house and missed the runoff; associate director of the Illinois State Board of Higher education from 1973 to 1974; visiting professor at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute from 1977 to 1979; and special assistant to Governor William Winter of Mississippi from 1980 to 1983.

Smith was elected life fellow of the Southern Regional Council in 1984. He died in Jackson, Mississippi, on August 2, 1997.


  1. Robert McG. Thomas Jr. (6 Aug 1997). "F.E. Smith, 79, Congressman Ousted Over Moderate Views". New York Times. p. D22. 

Further reading

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William M. Whittington
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
John B. Williams