Smith, Hoke, 1855–1931, American political leader, b. Newton, N.C. A successful lawyer in Atlanta, he acquired the Atlanta Journal in 1887. He served (1893–96) in President Cleveland's cabinet as secretary of the interior. He later was governor of Georgia (1907–9, 1911) and U.S. Senator (1911–21). As governor he vigorously supported railroad regulation, educational reform, and direct primary legislation. He won popularity among white Southerners by his racist policies and he helped disenfranchise Georgia blacks. After his defeat (1920) for reelection, he returned to the practice of law.
See biography by D. W. Grantham, Jr. (1958, repr. 1967).