TBA Law Blog


Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Dec 21, 2016

M. Lee Smith, an influential player in Tennessee Republican politics and longtime publisher and attorney, died yesterday (Dec. 20) from a blood condition. He was 74. A graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, Smith worked as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge William E. Miller but soon set his sights on politics and public policy. He joined the staff of Sen. Howard Baker as a legislative assistant in the late 1960s and then became a top aide to Gov. Winfield Dunn in the early 1970s. In 1975, he left government service and founded M. Lee Smith Publishers. Smith is perhaps best known for the Tennessee Journal, a weekly guide to Tennessee government, politics and business that he started. Smith sold the company in 2005, but it remains active today with online and print publications covering law and politics. The Tennessean has more on his life.

Services will be held Friday with visitation at noon and a memorial service at 2 p.m. at Marshall Donnelly Combs Funeral Home in Nashville.