ROCHESTER—Charles Smith, a 26-year veteran of Eastman Kodak’s public relations team respected by colleagues, senior management and the media alike, died at his home in Rochester last week after a three-year battle with cancer.
Smith retired from Kodak in June to deal with his health issues after serving in a variety of communications roles, most recently as director of communications for the company’s film products group. Earlier, he was corporate media relations director, director of public relations for consumer imaging, and director of Communications for the Kodak health group.
Smith was born on March 21, 1950 in Utica, and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1972. He began his career in communications in 1972 when he joined General Electric Company’s news bureau, working in Washington, D.C. In 1975, he joined the public relations consulting firm Carl Byoir & Associates and relocated to York, Pa. In 1981, he joined Eastman Kodak Company’s communications and public affairs division and later was named director of communications and public affairs for Kodak’s pharmaceutical start-up, Eastman Pharmaceuticals.
Smith is survived by his mother, Rose Smith, wife Grace, children Kristen and Kurt Smith, and brothers Larry and Garry. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Charles S Smith Scholarship Fund.