Meridian Star

Local News

November 1, 2009

Smith remembered as community-minded family man

Eddie Smith loved radio and the idea it gave ordinary, everyday people a platform to voice their opinions.

But if you really wanted to see Eddie Smith in his true environment then you would have had to attend a gathering of the Smith family at his Meridian home. With five children and their wives along with the 13 grandchildren they gave Eddie and Jane Smith, the home could become what many people would consider chaotic and loud. But not to the man the grandchildren called "Pops."

"He was the happiest when we were all together at his house," said Ed Smith Jr. of Ellisville. "He loved the activity of all the kids running all over the place. He was a big kid himself."

Eddie Smith, retired chief executive officer and manager of radio station WMOX-AM 1010 died at the age of 73 last Sunday with his family near his side. What Ed Smith Jr., Eddie Smith's oldest son, said his dad has left behind is a very loving family, a community in Meridian who embraced him and a legacy in radio that will endure for many years to come.

"Bill (Bill Smith, Ed's brother) has had plenty of guidance from dad and I think the direction of the radio station will continue on in pretty much the same way as dad started it," said Ed Smith Jr.

Eddie Smith began working in radio in Greenville and had been working as a salesman on the staff of WCMI in Columbus for five years, then was hired as the sales manager of WMOX in 1961 by then station manager Monroe Looney. Ed Smith Jr. said it was his dad's personality that endeared him to Looney.

"Dad never met a stranger," Ed Smith Jr. said. "Dad just seemed to know how to read people. I've been with him as he talked to people about advertising and it just seemed dad knew which buttons to push. But he didn't push too hard."

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