Kaye-Smith Founder Lester Smith Dead At 93
October 26, 2012 at 5:04 AM (PT)
LESTER SMITH, who partnered with entertainer DANNY KAYE to own several radio stations and also owned the SEATTLE MARINERS, died WEDNESDAY at 93, reports the SEATTLE TIMES.
SMITH, who started his career as a page at NBC in NEW YORK, formed KAYE-SMITH ENTERPRISES with KAYE in the 1950s, buying KJR-A/SEATTLE and ultimately owning several stations in WASHINGTON state, OREGON, KANSAS, and OHIO, a studio in SEATTLE (KAYE-SMITH PRODUCTIONS), CONCERTS WEST, before selling the stations (the last being KXL-A-F/PORTLAND, sold in 1999) and moving the company into direct mail, print management, and data security with the purchase of LOTHROP BUSINESS FORMS in 1987; it remains in that business.
SMITH was an original managing partner of the MARINERS in 1977-81 and also owned a piece of the original NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE incarnation of the SEATTLE SOUNDERS.