NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — The Shubert Organization announced the passing of longtime President Philip J. Smith has died. He was 89.
The Associated Press reported that Smith died from complications from COVID-19.
A figure in the world of American theater for more than 6 decades, Smith joined the Shubert Organization in 1957 as box office treasurer at the Imperial Theatre.
Over the next six decades, he went on to work in virtually every area of the company before he was named General Manager of all Shubert Theatres in 1970.
In 1971, Mr. Smith introduced the use of credit cards for ticket purchases and played a significant role of establishing the now-iconic TKTS discount windows for Broadway shows in Manhattan’s Times Square.
He was named Vice President of the organization in the early 1980s and on his watch, he led the organization’s computerization, including the deployment of telecharge, which revolutionized ticket sales.
After serving more than 15 years as Executive Vice President, Smith was named President of The Shubert Organization in 1996. He was appointed Chairman and Co-CEO in 2008. He also served as a Director and Chairman of The Shubert Foundation.
In 2020, he retired and was named Chairman Emeritus.
He is survived by daughters and their husbands, Linda and Martin Phillips, Jennifer and John Stein, and to the five grandchildren, Grant, James, Kate, Michael, and Peter.