Fred Smith was a prominent Christian businessman who also mentored some very prominent people, including Zig Ziglar.
I finished re-reading his book You and Your Network recently and it affected me as profoundly as when I read it before. I highly recommend you purchase and read it. I originally read it 20+ years ago mainly because Zig Ziglar spoke so highly of him. Since that time I have learned more about Fred and his life and I hold him in very high esteem. Him being a lifetime friend of Billy Graham really impressed me.
About Fred Smith Sr.
Fred was known as a man of wisdom and principle-centered thinking. His career spanned 65 years of executive positions with General Shoe Corporation, William Powell Valve, and Gruen Watch. As President of Fred Smith Associates, a management consulting firm, his clients included GENESCO, Mobil Oil, Caterpillar, Campbell-Taggart, Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, and the Taft law firm, among many others.
He served on boards for business, Christian organizations, and governmental task forces including S.H.Kress, Eaton International, Christianity Today, International, Youth for Christ, KeyLife Network, Turner Foundation, RREACH, Bill Glass ministries, Christian Men, Inc., and Hope for the Heart.
His lifetime friends included evangelist Billy Graham among many other business and ministry leaders. He was known as mentor and friend to men such as Zig Ziglar, Ramesh Richard, Steve Brown, and Ken Blanchard.
His influence through speaking, mentoring, writing, and consulting impacted men and women worldwide. As an inaugural contributor to Leadership Journal, he mentored a generation of pastors and ministry leaders — and continues to do so through his archived writings.
His books continue to direct leadership thinking. John Maxwell considers Learning to Lead one of the finest books on the subject. His fourth book, Breakfast with Fred was released on September 4, 2007.
He and Mary Alice were married for 67 years before her death in 2004. They were the parents of three adult children, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. At the age of 92, Fred passed away on August 17, 2007.