Franklin Smith, a 33-year employee of American Banker and the longtime author of the Executive Changes column, died Tuesday in Asheville, N.C., after a long illness. He was 53 years old.

Mr. Smith joined the Banker in May 1963 as an editorial assistant, and he later worked as a reporter and editor of the paper's Personal Interest page.

Mr. Smith assumed responsibility for Executive Changes when the column was created, writing on hiring and promotions, board elections, and changes in personnel.

He was remembered by co-workers as warm, friendly, and always ready with a smile.

During his tenure at the paper, Mr. Smith received two awards: in June 1984 from the National Association of Urban Bankers for his reporting on their goals, objectives, and programs; and in 1993 from the National Bankers Association for meritorious service.

Mr. Smith was an active volunteer in New York, where he lived for many years. He worked on educational outreach with the Boys Choir of Harlem and helped coordinate efforts to start a newspaper for the group.

He is survived by a son and a daughter, two sisters, and two brothers, all of Asheville, N.C.

Services will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. in Asheville. Messages of condolence can be sent to his sister, Ms. Mary Shivers, 191 Flint St., Asheville 28801.

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