Stephen A. Smith

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Host, ESPN's "First Take"

College & University
Moderator Hosts & Emcees
Diversity⸒ Equity & Inclusion (DEI)
Black History & Culture
Sports - Broadcasters

Stephen A. Smith: Biography at a Glance

  • Featured commentator on ESPN's First Take, discussing and debating the sports topics of the day
  • Host of the daily Stephen A. Smith Show on SiriusXM's Mad Dog Sports Radio
  • Previously hosted The Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN Radio and ESPN2's Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith
  • Joined ESPN in 2003 as an analyst for the network's NBA Shootaround (since renamed NBA Countdown) pregame show
  • Regularly appeared on ESPN's SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, ESPN2's First Take and as guest host of Pardon the Interruption and Jim Rome is Burning



Stephen A. Smith is a prominent sports television personality, sports radio host, sports journalist, and actor. He is a featured commentator on ESPN’s popular sports news show "First Take" where he discusses and debates the pressing sports topics of the day. Stephen also regularly appears as an NBA analyst on "SportsCenter" and "NBA Countdown."

In September 2014, Smith began hosting the daily "Stephen A. Smith Show" on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio, which has since moved to ESPN.

Smith joined ESPN in 2003 as an analyst for the network’s "NBA Shootaround" (since renamed "NBA Countdown") pregame show. He regularly appeared on ESPN’s "SportsCenter," "ESPNEWS," ESPN2’s "First Take," and as guest host of "Pardon the Interruption" and "Jim Rome is Burning." Smith made a variety of contributions to ESPN from 2003-08, notably hosting "The Stephen A. Smith Show" on ESPN Radio from 2005-08. He was also the host of ESPN2’s "Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith," a one-hour show featuring sports news, commentary on sports issues, and interviews, from 2005-07.

In 2011 Smith began hosting a two-hour weekday local show on ESPN Radio New York as well as a local show on ESPN Radio Los Angeles, covering both coasts.

Smith joined "First Take" on a permanent basis in 2012, appearing five days per week on the show debating sports news and pressing topics.

Previously, Smith hosted a morning show on Fox Sports Radio. He also held several positions, most recently as a general sports columnist, during a 16-year span with the Philadelphia Inquirer (1994-2010). Prior to joining the Inquirer, Smith was a reporter with the Winston-Salem Journal, the Greensboro News and Record, and the New York Daily News.

After attending the Fashion Institute of Technology for one year, Smith received a basketball scholarship to attend Winston-Salem State University, a historically black university in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he graduated in 1991.

Smith made his acting debut on the ABC soap opera "General Hospital" in a cameo appearance as a television reporter on the February 2, 2007. Later the same year, he was in the Chris Rock motion picture "I Think I Love My Wife." Smith returned to "General Hospital" in April 2016 as the character Brick, a surveillance expert for the Mob.

Since 2014, he has appeared in a series of Oberto all-natural beef jerky commercials as “The Little Voice in Your Stomach,” each time appearing alongside sports figures, such as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, pro snowboarder Louie Vito, and ESPN’s Dick Vitale.


Adversity: Keep Your Head in the Game!arrow-down

From heart-wrenching defeats to capturing glory, rarely is anyone faced with adversity more than the modern-day athlete. True champions have learned not only to overcome their adversities, but to use them as a tool. From his roots in Hollis to covering some of the biggest names on planet Earth, keynote speaker Stephen A. Smith uses his life experiences and sports-as-life references to offer his perspective on how to keep your head in the game using courage, determination, and patience so you too can use adversity to your benefit.

The Road to Great Leadershiparrow-down

Stephen A. Smith's career has allowed him to be up close and personal with great leaders, and he has learned firsthand and through interviews about the trials and tribulations on the road to great leadership. Leadership is now more important than ever, and Smith's anecdotes will enthrall, entertain, and educate as he talks about goal setting, motivation, tough decision making, and inspiration.

Ethics, On the Field & Offarrow-down

What is the right thing to do when the lines of ethics are increasingly blurred? Being the best and having more power and money enables those on the way up to be filled with praise, big paydays, and role-model status. But the headlines are filled with fall-from-grace storylines all the time. Is there a new model for success, or do we just have more access to information?

From sportsmanship to gambling, steroid use to point shaving, sports journalist Stephen A. Smith has seen and covered a wide spectrum of ethical issues both on the field and off... and interviewed a lot of the major players. He uses this unique insight to offer perspective on today's current events, politics, and youth. This engaging presentation will make you think and feel about ethical decisions in a new way.

Reaching the Black Community: Why the Republican Message Is Falling Short

The event went great! Stephen was captivating and we had some really good feedback. Him and the moderator were also really entertaining together and our attendance reached over 1000 students.

Ohio State University

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