Jim Smith has held many positions in Florida Government including Secretary of State, Chief of Staff for the Governor, Attorney General, member of the Board of Regents and Vice Chairman of the FSU Board of Trustees. He has also been a long-time supporter of Florida State University.
Jim’s family moved to Tripoli when he was one-year-old and then to Spain where he attended high school. Smith never visited
Tallahassee and picked FSU out of a mail order catalog. Smith arrived at FSU in 1958 and tried out for the basketball team. He pledged ATO fraternity with the encouragement of another basketball player, Jim Savage. Savage also did him another favor by introducing him to a cousin, Carole Clark. Jim and Carole later married and Smith went on to law school at Stetson.
Smith eventually landed as an executive assistant to his friend Governor Reubin Askew. Even while building his agricultural business, a law practice, a political career and a family, Jim stayed very active in Florida State Athletics. In 1977, Jim served on the Board of Regents for the State’s University System and continued his path in state government including being elected Attorney Attorney General twice and appointed to the Governor’s Cabinet as Secretary of State in August, 2002. Smith has served as President of the FSU National Alumni Association and has received numerous honors including ODK’s Grads Made Good Award, FSU’s Bernie Sliger Award and an honorary degree of Humane Letters from FSU.