Smerconish has often been recognized for his radio work. Talkers Magazine has consistently named him one of America’s most important talk show hosts, and Radio and Records named him the nation’s Local Personality of the Year. On August 20, 2009, Smerconish became the first radio host to interview President Barack Obama live from the White House. The thirty-minute interview was conducted in the Diplomatic Reception Room and televised live on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News. Previously, Smerconish had interviewed Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Prior to syndication, Smerconish was the recipient of several (Philadelphia) Achievement in Radio awards, including Best Talk Show Host and Best Evening Program. Philadelphia Magazine has named him the City’s best talk show host and one of the City’s most powerful citizens.
Smerconish is the author of five books, two of them New York Times best sellers. He donated all author proceeds from three of those manuscripts to charity. His published books are: Flying Blind: How Political Correctness Continues to Compromise Airline Safety Post 9/11 (for which he donated his proceeds to the Garden of Reflection, a 9/11 tribute garden in his native Bucks County, Pennsylvania); Muzzled: From T-Ball to Terrorism, True Stories that Should Be Fiction (a Times best seller); Murdered By Mumia: A Life Sentence of Loss, Pain and Injustice (a Times best seller which he co-authored with Maureen Faulkner and for which he donated his proceeds to the Daniel Faulkner Educational Grant Fund); Morning Drive: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking; and Instinct: The Man Who Stopped the 20th Hijacker (the story of Jose Melendez-Perez, for which he donated his proceeds to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania).
Smerconish also authors separate weekly columns for the Philadelphia Daily News and Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer. He is a contributor to TheDailyBeast.com, and his columns have been re-printed in various newspapers across the country, including the Washington Post, Dallas Morning-News, Denver Post, Boston Herald, Charlotte Observer, Sacramento Bee, Kansas City Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Providence Journal, Deseret News (Salt Lake City), Akron Beacon Journal, Wichita Eagle, Arizona Daily Star, Green Bay Press Gazette, Winnipeg Free Press, Tallahassee Democrat, and Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar).
Smerconish is also an on-air contributor with MSNBC. In 2008, he covered both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions for the network. He appears regularly on Hardball with Chris Matthews (a program he has guest hosted), and has been a guest on virtually every television program where politics is discussed, including the NBC Today Show, Colbert Report, O’Reilly Factor, Larry King Live, The View, and Real Time With Bill Maher.
In 2006, Smerconish participated in the Pentagon sponsored Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC), a military immersion program that began in 1947. In the span of one week, he traveled 15,000 miles and visited four Middle Eastern countries. His itinerary included: a briefing by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, boarding the USS Iwo Jima by helicopter in the Persian Gulf, firing the best of the Army’s weaponry in the Kuwait desert (just 10 miles from Iraq), driving an 11-kilometer Humvee obstacle course designed to protect against IEDs, boarding the Air Force’s most sophisticated surveillance aircraft in Qatar, and touring a military humanitarian outpost in the Horn of Africa.
Smerconish became a radio and television commentator after experiences he had at an early age in Republican politics. While still in college he was an advanceman for (then) Vice President George H.W. Bush. At age 29, he was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to a sub-cabinet level position (Regional Administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he reported to HUD Secretary Jack Kemp).
Prior to turning to broadcasting as a full-time endeavor, Smerconish practiced law for ten years with James E. Beasley, a legendary Philadelphia-based trial lawyer, who is the namesake of the Beasley School of Law at Temple University. Smerconish is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and remains a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. When actively practicing law, Smerconish was a trial lawyer specializing in complex tort litigation. His work spanned various subject areas, including contracts, medical malpractice, and products liability. His clients ranged from the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police (in an action against a music group responsible for publishing an FOP photograph on an album cover that advocated the murder of police) to the City of Rome, Italy (in a contract dispute). He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyer’s Association.
Smerconish is a 1984 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Lehigh University where he majored in government and journalism.
He lives in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, with his wife and their four children.
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