Joel P. Smith, Sr (February 13, 1929 in Samson, Geneva County - died July 30, 2009 in Eufaula) was editor of the Eufaula Tribune from 1958 to 1999 and publisher until his family sold the paper to Media General in 2006.
Smith graduated from Florida State University and began working in newspapers in 1953 when he took a job in promotions and marketing at the Birmingham Post-Herald. He went on to become editor of the Geneva Reaper before moving to the Tribune in 1958. He also owned the Cuthbert Times and News-Record in Georgia for some time.
Smith contributed his weekly "Candid Comments" column to the Reaper and Tribune for a total of 51 years without missing a single week. He served as president of both the Alabama Press Association and the Alabama Journalism Foundation. He also served on the Eufaula Board of Education and the Board of Trustees for Birmingham-Southern College. He won the Alabama Press Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.
Smith died in 2009. He was survived by his wife, Ann, three sons and six grandchildren. He was buried at Fairview Cemetery in Eufaula.
- Joel P. Smith, Sr obituary (July 31, 2009) Birmingham News