By: E&P Staff
Chester H. “Chet” Smith, a former Nevada newspaper editor and a veteran of state and national politics, died Tuesday in Alexandria, Virginia. He was 85.
Born in Burns, Ore., Smith grew up in Winnemucca, Nev., where he became the state’s youngest editor in 1939, when he took the helm of the Humboldt Star at the age of 19. Smith served in the Marine Corps in World War II as a combat correspondent with the Fifth Marine Division. He saw action in several Pacific conflicts, including the Iwo Jima campaign, and was at the site when comrades placed the American flag on there. Before his discharge, he also edited a daily newspaper published in Japan for American occupation forces.
Smith?s political career spanned four decades, first as an aide to several leading Nevada political figures, including U.S. Sens. Pat McCarran and Alan Bible. He was also active on the election campaign staffs of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson