He also was active in student affairs and participated in the university's honors program before graduating magna cum laude.
"Marshall was great to me," Smith said. "I loved the environment, I loved learning. I loved discovering that I loved learning. The environment there was just perfect for me. It was big enough to offer everything but small enough that you could actually have relationships with the professors."
Except for the 1970 plane crash, Smith said he knew nothing about Marshall before being recruited to play football. But he accepted the scholarship -- which he continued to receive until graduating, despite not playing -- and never regretted choosing Marshall.
Smith began his career as a journalist and was managing editor of the Charleston Daily Mail when it was acquired by Thomson Newspapers in 1987. He rose through the ranks at Thomson Newspapers to become responsible for operations in North America.
Following the divesture of Thomson's newspaper business in 2000, Smith moved to the professional publishing side of the company where he was responsible for a number of businesses serving the legal, regulatory and academic markets.
He also served as global head of human resources before becoming chief operating officer of The Thomson Corp. Following the acquisition of Reuters in 2008, Smith ran the professional division of the combined company. He was named chief executive in January 2012.
Smith spends much of his time traveling, often to other countries. He splits time among offices in New York, London and Stamford, Conn., where he and his wife, Pam Kushmerick, maintain their home. He has four sons.
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