Nebraska Authors

John Clay Smith

AKA: John Clay Smith Jr.

Died 2018-02-15
Washington, DC (USA)

Smith, son of an Omaha packinghouse worker and a nurse, grew up in Omaha. He was the first black student president at Omaha South High School and the first black governor elected at Cornhusker Boy's State. He attended Creighton University and completed law school at Howard University in Washington, DC. Among other posts, he was acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the 1980s and later, Dean of Howard University Law School.

Places Lived

Omaha, NE
Washington D.C.

Author Of

  • Nonfiction


Law; Lawyers; Black Lawyers; African-American Authors; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Public Policy


South High School, Omaha
Creighton University, Omaha, NE
Juris Doctorate, Howard University, Washington D.C.


Law School Dean, Howard University

Places Worked

Federal Communications Commission
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (appointed by Jimmy Carter in 1978)


First Black Student Council President, South High School, Omaha
First Black Governor at Cornhusker Boys' State
First Black President of the Federal Bar Association


Emancipation: The Making of The Black Lawyer - 1844 to 1944. 1993. (forward written by Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall)
Rebels in the Law: Voices in History of Black Women Lawyers. 1998.

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John Clay Smith

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)