News correspondent Jack Smith died of cancer on April 7 in Marin County, Calif. He was 58.
Smith began as an ABC News correspondent in 1976, and served as a Washington correspondent from 1980 until he left the network in 2001. He was the principal correspondent for “This Week with David Brinkley,” which reported on topics such as the collapse of Communism, the Iran-Contra affair and two presidential elections.
Before coming to Washington, he was ABC News’ Paris correspondent, where he reported on international stories. He also reported from West Beirut during the Israeli siege of that city, the 1982 Canadian ascent of Mt. Everest (the first to report from the actual mountain) and he covered the White House and the State Department for “Good Morning America.”
Smith developed the technology beat at ABC News, which helped to create the “Cutting Edge” segments on “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.”
As a Vietnam veteran, he was awarded the Bronze Star with valor and the Purple Heart. In 1993 he returned to Vietnam as a reporter for “Nightline” and “Day One” to report on the Vietnam War that nearly killed him in 1965.
He was the host for TLC’s award winning series on the Vietnam War, “The Soldiers’ Story.” He also hosted and narrated several programs for A&E “Biography” and documentaries for the Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel.
Son of the deceased ABC anchor and TV news pioneer Howard K. Smith, he is survived by his wife, Pam, his son and his mother.