The Root 100
The ROOT 100 recognizes emerging and established African-American leaders who are making extraordinary contributions. The ROOT 100 celebrates leadership, creativity, service, and, above all, excellence.
Age45 years old years old
Hometown Bunker Hill, IN
Claim to Fame Journalist/political commentator
Bio Tavis Smiley has used his platform as an author, political commentator, and talk-show host to make the concerns of African Americans a top priority. Born 45 years ago in Gulfport, MS, Smiley has become one of the nation’s leading black journalists. He hosts his own self-titled talk shows on National Public Radio and PBS television, which feature interviews with a range of guests from entertainers to world leaders. He founded the Tavis Smiley Foundation and a website www.tavistalks.com. He has authored 14 books, and his searing memoir, What I Know For Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America,” was a #1 New York Times Bestseller. He is the winner of the NAACP's Image Award and in 2004, Texas Southern University named its school of communications after Smiley, making him the youngest African American to have a school named in his honor.
Quote "I thought our community should have a deep dialogue to make our Black America better. I think if we make Black America better we make all of America better."