Smith came to the expansion Mariners as a businessman who had spent most of his working career in the broadcasting industry. His interest started in 1954 when he acquired KJR. He subsequently became CEO of Kaye-Smith Enterprises, a diversified company in the fields of entertainment and broadcasting.
Born Oct. 20, 1919 in
New York City
to Sadie and Alexander Smith, Smith graduated from New
York University and
went to work for NBC as a page, guiding tours of its New York studios. Smith served in the
military during WWII, after which he traveled to San Francisco to visit an uncle, and decided
to make the West Coast his home.
Smith joined a media brokerage firm in 1951 and became a station owner in 1954 when
KJR became available. Smith also acquired radio stations in Portland
and Spokane. By
the 1960s, Les had become a partner with Kaye in 10 radio stations – each known
as a well-run, highly competitive market leader.