East Texas Book Fest Names J. B. Smith Honorary Chair
Sep 04, 2013 | 1161 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

East Texas Book Fest Names J. B. Smith Honorary Chair


            The East Texas Book Fest proudly announces J.B. Smith as the honorary chair of this 2013, free, family fun event.

            Smith is a man of many talents.  In addition to being renowned law enforcement professional, he is also famous as an educator of criminal justice, military, and business personnel; as a writer of fascinating books about crimes; as a media personality; and as a true champion of reading, writing and libraries.

            "It is no wonder that J. B. Smith was the selected as honorary chair. He is so talented, versatile, and inspiring in so many ways," says Jeanne Standley, Chair of the Book Fest.

            The Book Fest takes place on Saturday, September 14, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, in the Tyler Rose Center, 420 Rose Park Drive, in Tyler. Sixty-seven Texas authors will be on exhibit for this free family fun event. Among the authors are those who write for children, young adults, and adults in many genres - fiction and nonfiction.

            Sheriff Smith will also be on hand to talk to guests about his career and his books throughout the day. At 10:30 am, he will speak to the crowd about his multi-faceted life and his books. Given his career and his character, the audience can expect words of wisdom from this remarkable writer. Given his motto - "Blessed are those who laugh at themselves, for they will never cease to be amused" - the audience can expect a lot of giggles and guffaws at the same time.

            As Sheriff, Smith managed a department of 350 personnel and approximately 1,000 prisoners. In the past 36 years he was responsible for working and investigating 146 murders with 80% of those murder cases solved.  This is 20% above the national average for closing cases. Smith is also one of the longest serving sheriffs in the history of Texas - 1976-2012. 




            One example among many that demonstrate Smith's support for the learning needs of this community occurred in the late 1970’s. Sheriff Smith collaborated with the University of Texas at Tyler to research the education level of prisoners. The study discovered that 75% of the

inmates did not have a high school education.  This fact prompted him to collaborate with the Texas Education Agency to implement GED classes within the detention facilities. 

     Much sought after as a speaker, Smith addresses many groups across the nation each year. Favorite audiences for him are members of the U.S. military. On six occasions, he has been the keynote speaker for U.S. troops returning from Afghanistan.

            In addition, he is also a popular educator and conducts classes in leadership and particular skills for police forces, sheriffs, military units, businesses, and others.

            Smith has published two popular true crime novels - The Christmas Day Murders and the Unholy Ghost Murder.

            In 2011, his love of history prompted him to produce a weekly television program entitled J.B.’s Journal.  In 2012, this show received an Emmy for Texas Heritage.

     "We hope the whole community will join us for this free family fun regional event," says Mary Vernau, a member of the steering committee. "There is plenty of free parking near the Rose Center, and guests can come and go from 10:00 - 4:00."

            Carrie Custer, another steering committee member adds, "The first 100 adults will receive free goody bags. The first 100 children will receive a free book."

            Check out more information about the event, including pictures and brief biographies of all participating authors, on Face Book and on the East Texas Book Fest website at www.etxbookfest.org. For answers to specific questions, email etxbookfest@yahoo.com.

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