Harrison Smith

Washington, D.C.

Obituary writer

Education: University of Chicago, AB in English and philosophy

Harrison Smith is a reporter on The Washington Post's obituaries desk, where he has worked since 2015. He covers people who have made a significant impact on their field, city or country — a group of the recently deceased that includes big-game hunters, single-handed sailors, fallen dictators, Olympic champions and the creator of the Hawaiian pizza. He previously worked for KidsPost and contributed to Washingtonian and Chicago magazines, among other publications. He co-founded the South Side Weekly newspaper in Chicago before moving to the District in 2015.
Latest from Harrison Smith

Milan Kundera, author of ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being,’ dies at 94

Czech-born novelist Milan Kundera mixed philosophical speculation with political critique and erotic reverie.

July 12, 2023

Peter Nero, pianist who bridged pop and classical, dies at 89

Peter Nero won two Grammy Awards, conducted the Philly Pops orchestra and set Anne Frank’s diary to music.

July 10, 2023

David Gilmour, entrepreneur who created Fiji water, dies at 91

He turned pure island water into liquid gold, selling his company in 2004 for a reported $50 million.

July 5, 2023

Susan Love, surgeon who crusaded against breast cancer, dies at 75

She co-founded the National Breast Cancer Coalition and sought to eradicate the disease, which remains the second deadliest cancer for women in the U.S.

July 3, 2023

Alan Arkin, Oscar-winning actor with a wry charm, dies at 89

The four-time Oscar nominee appeared in movies including “Catch-22,” “Argo” and “Little Miss Sunshine,” which earned him the best supporting actor prize.

June 30, 2023

Carmen Sevilla, a glamorous queen of Spanish film, dies at 92

She rose to stardom as an actress in the 1950s, appeared in a pair of English-language epics and became an affable staple of Spanish television.

June 29, 2023

Peg Yorkin, feminist organizer and philanthropist, dies at 96

She chaired the Feminist Majority Foundation, which campaigned to introduce the abortion pill mifepristone, and backed politicians including Nancy Pelosi.

June 28, 2023

Frederic Forrest, character actor known for Coppola films, dies at 86

He played a high-strung sailor in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” and snagged an Oscar nomination as Bette Midler’s love interest in “The Rose.”

June 26, 2023

Donald Triplett, first person diagnosed with autism, dies at 89

In 1943 he became “Case 1,” the first child formally diagnosed with autism. Backed by his family and community, he worked at a bank and traveled the world.

June 20, 2023

Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, dies at 92

Disillusioned by the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsberg leaked a top-secret history of the conflict, the Pentagon Papers. It led to a landmark Supreme Court case.

June 16, 2023