Some would say that an exclusive interview with the President of the United States during the most controversial sex scandal to ever hit the White House is the interview of a lifetime. Others would say interviewing Fidel Castro in the wake of unprecedented U.S. sanctions relief or the conversation with Pope John Paul II was the most significant.
Time selected him as one of America's 50 most promising young leaders. Newsweek profiled him one of the "20 people changing how Americans get their news" and dubbed him one of the nation's "captains of the airwaves." Vanity Fair inducted him into their Hall of Fame. The New York Post screamed "Look out Larry King - here comes Tavis Smiley!" The Los Angeles Times says he's on the "fast track, left lane." The Washington Post declared that he's "winning friends and influencing people." Essence raves that his political writings "show us how to correct America's swerve to the right." And Buzz magazine rates him one of the "100 coolest people in Los Angeles."
The host of Tavis Talks on NPR (premiering January 7, 2002), Smiley recently announced an unprecedented series of agreements which cross a broad spectrum of media outlets. Smiley will appear as a correspondent and/or regular contributor on ABC's PrimeTime Thursday, Good Morning America, CNN, and the ABC Radio Network. In addition, he has signed a two-book deal with Random House and closed a deal with Hay House to create a series of products including audiocassettes, mini-books and success seminars. Mr. Smiley was previously the host of the award-winning, BET TONIGHT with Tavis Smiley.
Mr. Smiley has authored five books. His most recent, How to Make Black America Better, is a clarion call to African Americans to take control of their own destiny. He is also the publisher of The Smiley Report newsletter. Additionally, Mr. Smiley offers political commentary on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show.
Mr. Smiley is founder of the Tavis Smiley Foundation, a nonprofit organization, whose mission is to encourage, empower and enlighten Black youth. Youth to Leaders (Y2L), the cornerstone program of the Foundation, is an annual series of one-day leadership-building conferences that take place in cities across the U.S. Tavis Smiley Presents, a subsidiary of The Smiley Group, Inc., was created to bring ideas and people together through symposiums, seminars, forums and town hall meetings.
Educated at Indiana University, Mr. Smiley was previously a top aide to former Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, and has since provided analysis on everything from C-SPAN to Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, from the Today show to World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Mr. Smiley's advocacy has been profiled on 60 Minutes.
One of ten children, Mr. Smiley is single and lives in Los Angeles. In his spare time, Mr. Smiley enjoys a good game of Scrabble with friends.