Charles Z. Smith
Born February 23, 1927, in Lakeland, Florida. Left home at age fourteen to live under the educational supervision of Dr. William H. Gray, Jr., attended Florida A & M, and graduated with a degree in business administration from Temple University. Graduated from University of Washington Law School in 1955, then served as law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Matthew W. Hill. Worked as both deputy prosecuting attorney for King County and in private law practice, before moving to Washington, D.C., to take position as Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States in the legal field. Justice Smith was appointed to the Washington State Supreme Court in 1988, where he served until his retirement in 2002. Justice Smith received the University of Washington Law School's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1990, and was appointed by President Clinton to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in 1999. He has also won the Asian Bar Association's Judge of the Year award as well as the Lifetime Service Award from the Washington State Bar Association. During his long and illustrious career, Justice Smith has served on the boards of several Asian American community organizations, and worked on behalf of immigrants' rights.