Smiley is a native of Natchez, Miss. His family moved to Baton Rouge when he was a child. He received a bachelor’s in journalism from LSU in 1959 and a masters in journalism from LSU in 1971.
He was oil and gas editor of The Shreveport Times from 1960-62; information director, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, 1962-66, and public relations director, Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, 1966-73. In 1973 he joined The Morning Advocate as its first business reporter, a position he held until starting the column in 1979.
Smiley’s latest book, “A laughing matter” not only contains funny stories from his columns published between 1991 and 2000, but also an account of his life, from his early days as a spoiled brat in Natchez, Miss., to his high school and college days in Baton Rouge and his journey in journalism that culminated in his award-winning column. Here you’ll find Cajun jokes featuring Boudreaux and Thibodeaux, tales of Louisiana politicians both free and incarcerated and a somewhat less than serious look at the “Gret Stet” of Louisiana and its colorful citizens. It’s as much fun as Mardi Gras, without the hangover.