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Johnny Smith


BA 2004, History; MA 2006, History; Ph.D. 2011, History

Julius C. "Bud" Shaw Professor of Sports, Society, and Technology, Assistant Professor of History, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA

Johnny Smith received his Ph.D. in United States history from Purdue University in 2011. He was hired as an Assistant Professor of History at Georgia Tech in 2013, after a yearlong postdoctoral fellowship in the Sports, Society, and Technology program. In May 2017, he was named the Julius C. “Bud” Shaw Professor of Sports, Society, and Technology. Smith’s research examines the historical intersections between sports, politics, and American culture. He has published three books: The Sons of Westwood: John Wooden UCLA, and the Dynasty That Changed College Basketball; Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X (written with Randy Roberts); and A Season in the Sun: The Rise of Mickey Mantle (written with Roberts).

Smith is the recipient of the North American Society for Sport History Book Prize, and the Journal of Sport History Best Article Award; and the Organization of American Historians named him a Distinguished Lecturer in 2017. He has also won several teaching awards, including the Ivan Allen College Teacher of the Year Award, the Class of 1940 Course Survey Teaching Effectiveness Award, and the CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award.

As of September 2018, Johnny was honored as an 2018 Emerging Voice Award recipient on behalf of the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University. Since 2008 the College of Liberal Arts Alumni Board and the Purdue Alumni Association have been honoring young alumni from the College of Liberal Arts who are successfully achieving their career goals, serving their communities, and representing the College as graduates who think broadly and lead boldly.