Books, Reviews, Prints

Conversations with Papa Charlie

A Memory of Charles E. Smith

By David Bruce Smith
Illustrations by Clarice Smith

Purchase Options

About Conversations with Papa Charlie

David Bruce Smith offers us this charming memory of his remarkable grandfather—a Russian Jew who immigrated to America in 1911 and built the Charles E. Smith real estate empire.

In these pages, you too will feel you are listening to stories about the amazing life of this kindly but business-savvy entrepreneur, and to gentle advice for succeeding in your own life.

“I was a lucky grandson,” writes David Bruce Smith. “Papa Charlie was kind and gentle, and his laughter could instantly dispel sadness. His eyes always sparkled with youth because he was ever-youthful and adventurous. But the most important thing he did for me was to constantly encourage me, even if I didn’t always understand why.”

Sold out through David Bruce Smith Publications. Order a print or ebook through Amazon.


David Bruce Smith
Clarice Smith
119 pages, Hardcover

Praise for Conversations with Papa Charlie

Inspiring, sweet stories. April 11, 2001
Conversations with Papa Charlie made me miss my grandfather and the stories he used to tell me. Growing up in the Washington area, Charles E. Smith was a familiar name to me. I always thought it was a made up corporate entity. It’s nice to see that Charles Smith was a real person, and not a heartless corporate giant. I recommend this book to all those who are looking for a little guidance in life, and for anyone who just wants to read some heartwarming stories.
— Reviewer
A reader from Bethesda, MD
You Won’t Forget Him, October 17, 2000
Every day, we hear names of business giants such as Bill Gates or John D. Rockefeller. But what we don’t hear is the story of what makes or made these men who they were. How they lived. Who they loved. What inspired them. What they ate for breakfast.
Conversations With Papa Charlie gave me a real look behind the scenes at Charles E. Smith—one of the biggest names in real estate. I discovered who Charles E. Smith really was—his successes, his failures and lessons—not just for business but for life. It is a magical and charming memoir that I would recommend for anyone of any age who wants to be inspired.
— Reviewer
A reader from Washington, DC
Papa Charlie’s pieces of advice are decidely homespun . . . this unassuming volume turns around and ends on an astonishingly poetic note . . .
— Washingtonian
Clearly shows that this connection lives on after Charles E. Smith’s death . . . Papa Charlie would be proud.
— Rockville Gazette
It reads like a recipe for success . . . subtly reveals the wisdom of a man who made significant contributions ...
— The Georgetowner
Smith was a legend in DC, but few people know he gave the best advice this side of Dear Abby.
— The Washington Times
Heartwarming tale . . . endearing . . . will bring tears to readers eyes . . .
— Montgomery County Sentinel
In essence, this is a memoir written by a loving grandson.
— Washington Jewish Week
He would be a good example for others to use . . .
— The Connection

  Show All Praise