Charles L. Smith  -  Class of 1956

Inducted: 2014



Charles Lebanon Smith was born on April 30, 1938, and grew up on Borden Avenue in Asbury Park. The furth child in a family of eight, he was one of two boys and six girls. He was also privileged to have many cousins with whom he maintained a most positive relationship.

Charles graduated from APHS in 1956, where, in addition to being anexcellent student, he served as the President of his class, Vice President of the Track Club, a member of the varsity basketball team, and a State Champion in the high jump in 1955. He was also recognized as the Best Natured and Most Democratic member of his class.

After graduation from APHS, Charles attended Albright College in Reading, Pa. on a basketball scholarship. While there, he was listed in "Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, 1959-1960." He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. In 1970, he married his wife, Muriel. As a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, he served as Basilus in 1979.

Upon graduating from college, Charles decided he wanted to work in public service and went to work for the Social Security Administration. He enlisted in the Army National Guard and served from 1961 to 1966. I 1975, he was employed by the United States Department of Labor as an Investigator and Compliance Officer. During his tenure, he held many supervisory/managerial positions including the Regional Head of the Federal Office of Labor Management Standards Enforcement during President Carter's administration. In 1993, he accepted an appointment from President Clinton to be the Special Assistant to the Secretary, Department of Labor.He retired from federal government service in 1999. He took a position with the Prudential Insurance Company as Vice President of Compliance.

After retiring in 2004, Charles becomae a volunteer with the Small Business Administration and a mediator for the Ocean County Court System. He was an active member of St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, serving as an altar boy, Senior Warden, and a dedicated volunteer in the church's feeding program where his "special meatloaf dinner" was always well received. Charles was also involved in many community activities, including the Men's Club of Monmouth County.

Despite his unquestionable success, Charles remained humble about his accompishments. He maintained that it was iportant to keep the right perspective about life's situations, a principle which was instilled in him by his mother, Gertrude Saunders. Without a doubt, it was Charles' hard work and desire to excel that motivated him to have a good start in life. Subsequently, it was his vision and courage that perpetuated him up the ladder of success. In addition, he possessed a strong commitment to family and friends and a generosity of spirit which was enhanced by his profound desire to be of service to humanity. Charles passed away September 26, 2012.