Activist Daniel Smith, One of the Last Children Born to a Parent Who Was Enslaved in the U.S., Dead at 90


Daniel Smith; Enslaved People; Civil Rights Activist


Daniel Smith, a civil rights activist and one of the last remaining children of an enslaved Black American, died at age 90 on Wednesday.

Smith’s wife since 2006, Loretta Neumann, said her husband had cancer and congestive heart failure, according to The Washington Post.

Neumann told CBS News his daughter April and son Rob were by his side when he died at a hospice in Washington.

Born in Connecticut in March 1932, Smith was the son of former enslaved man, his father Abram Smith (also known as “A.B.”), and Clara Smith, the Post reports. His father was 70 years old when his mother — whom Smith reportedly said was white with Scotch-Irish and Cherokee ancestry — gave birth at age 23.

Smith reflected on the lessons he learned from his father, who was born into enslavement in Virginia during the 1860s, in February on CBS Mornings.

“We need more kindness,” he said in the interview. “And I look back, in terms of my crazy life, and I think it all came from my father saying, ‘Do good things. Do good things.’ “


By Abigail Adams




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