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Julian S. Smith Endowed Professorship in Electrical Engineering

SmithJulianBaltimore broadcast pioneer JULIAN SINCLAIR SMITH received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins in 1952. While a student, Mr. Smith worked as an engineer at WFBR-AM, one of Baltimore’s leading radio stations at the time. In 1958, he applied for his first FM radio station license, recognizing the impact FM broadcasting and its clear signal would have on commercial radio operations. His classical music station, WFMM-FM (93.1), went on the air two years later. He built the station’s control panels himself, on the dining room table in his parents’ home.

He became interested in the budding ultrahigh frequency (UHF) technology in the early 1960s. Convinced that there were other markets beyond the one already served by CBS, NBC, and ABC, Mr. Smith waited five years before being granted the license and launched WBFF-TV, now known as Fox-45, in 1971.

Mr. Smith, along with his wife, Carolyn, and sons, David, Fred, Duncan, and Rob, founded the Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. in 1971. Today, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. is one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the country. Sinclair owns and operates programs or provides sales services to 74 television stations in 45 markets. Sinclair’s television group reaches approximately 26.3% of U.S. television households and includes FOX, ABC, MyTV, CW, CBS, NBC, MTN, and Azteca affiliates.

Julian S. Smith died in 1993 at the age of 72. The Smith family established the Julian S. Smith Endowed Professorship in Electrical Engineering in 1996 to honor and celebrate his lifelong achievements.