News photographer legend retires

News photographer legend retires

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - After an unbelievable and unprecedented 55 years as a news photographer at WALB, Sam Smith, a legend in Georgia broadcasting has retired.

On Friday, the WALB family sent their patriarch off into retirement with his other family.

"This is the first time I've ever resigned from anything," said Sam.

Sam Smith started working at WALB on October 1, 1960. When the station started covering local news a few months later, he volunteered to shoot the film.

Sam also played a part in the Civil Rights movement by shooting iconic footage of Martin Luther King and peaceful protests in Albany. He's covered just about every major story in south Georgia since then - from Jimmy Carter's presidential run to the flood of 1994.

"We put in a lot of long hours those days. It was midnight or after before we quit for that day, and then about 4:00 the next morning, we'd begin again."

Sam set an example for many in news production and took a serious responsibility to serve the people of south Georgia.

He has seen incredible changes in technology over the years, but he always stayed on top of advancements and shared his vast knowledge freely with generations of young journalists.

"Working with these kids that we hire fresh out of college, it's been so much fun helping them to learn their trade or profession," said Sam. "I think that's probably what kept me here the last few years."

The mentoring and personal interaction is what Sam will miss most, and the many people that Sam inspired will miss him more than he'll ever know.

Sam Smith is an exemplary co-worker and an even better person. After so many years of dedicated service, he deserves to play a little more golf and spend more time with his wife Linda, sons, and grandson Taylor.

Included is a full interview with Sam Smith about more of his time at WALB.