Michael Smerconish will be the keynote speaker at the Klein College Winter Graduation Ceremony on Dec. 21 at the Temple Performing Arts Center. As a well-known television personality, radio host, author, columnist and lawyer, he has ample wisdom to impart.
"I will reflect on some of my own experiences in the media field," Smerconish said. "But I will not be touting my successes."
Born and raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Smerconish was first exposed to politics while working on his father's 1980 campaign for state legislature. At Lehigh University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, he started Lehigh University for Reagan/Bush. Then, while at law school at the University of Pennsylvania, he also ran for state legislature, losing by just 419 votes. At 29, he was appointed regional administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Philadelphia. In 1993, he began practicing law with famed trial attorney, James E. Beasley, the namesake for the Temple University Beasley School of Law.
"I've lived my entire life in a 50 mile radius," Smerconish said. "Despite the fact that I've spent most of my life in the media, [Philadelphia] has always been home."
While Smerconish spent over a decade working as a lawyer, today he better known as a media personality. During the Philadelphia mayoral election in 1991, he began working as a political analyst for radio station WWDB, which led eventually to him hosting his own program on Sunday nights. That led to a nationally syndicated morning show on CBS affiliate WPHT, where Smerconish was the first radio host to interview President Obama live from the White House. In 2013, his program moved to satellite radio, broadcasting from SiriusXM. He was selected as a Marconi Award finalist by the National Association of Broadcasters in 2011 and has won multiple Achievement in Radio awards in Philadelphia.
Simultaneously, Smerconish has also spent time working as a political analyst on television and as an author. He began his analyst work on MSNBC, but in 2014, he launched his own show, "Smerconish," on CNN. He is also the author of six books, two of them New York Times best sellers.
"I am happy where I am but I may have third career in me," Smerconish said.
While he has his own goals for his graduation address, he said he will mostly focus on heeding advice from his children, who told him to keep it interesting.
"'Dad, don't be boring,'" he laughed. "So my goal is to defy all odds."