Denny Smith, chairman of the board of Eagle Newspapers, Inc., received notice in February that he will be inducted into the prestigious Oregon Newspaper Hall of Fame at the summer convention of Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.
The Oregon Newspaper Hall of Fame Award was first conceived in 1973 by the ONPA board of directors, and the first induction took place in 1979. Among the first inductees was Denny’s father, Elmo Smith.
The award recognizes Oregon newspaper people who have been involved in management or leadership in one or more disciplines of the newspaper industry in Oregon, and who have made an outstanding contribution to Oregon newspaper professionalism through community, regional or state service.
In 1968, upon the death of his father, Denny assumed the leadership role for the family’s newspaper company. The family owned or had an interest in the weekly newspapers located in Madras, Hood River and Dallas. Under Denny’s leadership, the company has grown to 26 holdings in Oregon, Washington and Idaho including two daily newspapers, 12 weekly or twice-a-week newspapers, six niche and free distribution publications, a mailing company and four web press plants.
Denny, a decorated U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and Vietnam veteran, served in Congress from 1981 to 1991.
The ONPA Honors Committee, which consists of past recipients of the Amos Voorhies and/or Hall of Fame awards, judge all Hall of Fame nominees. Contributions to the Oregon Newspapers Foundation’s Hall of Fame project have enabled creation of a permanent display at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.