1926 to 1976
May 1, 1907 in Augusta County
June 17, 1986
London, England, United Kingdom
Kathryn Elizabeth Smith
Kathryn Elizabeth Smith (May 1, 1907 - June 17, 1986) known professionally as Kate Smith and The First Lady of Radio was an American singer, a contralto, best known for her rendition of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America". She had a radio, television, and recording career spanning five decades, which reached its pinnacle in the 1940s. Smith became known as The Songbird of the South after her enduring popularity during World War II and contribution to American culture and patriotism. Early life: She was born in Greenville, Virginia. Career: Smith began recording in 1926.