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Joseph Scott Smith (October 21, 1948 - February 4, 1995)[1] was a gay rights activist best known for his romantic relationship with Harvey Milk.

In the 2008 feature film Milk, the role of Scott Smith was played by James Franco.

Smith was widely considered the muscle behind many of Milk's endeavors. He organized, created, managed and helped campaign for Milk's election to public office from 1974 to 1977 and openly supported and helped after Milk was elected. Smith was well known for orchestrating the Coors Beer boycott and putting Milk at the forefront of the issue, creating one of the first public displays of power by the gay community.

There are hundreds of images of Smith, taken by Milk and others, in the Harvey Milk Archives/Scott Smith Collection at the San Francisco Public Library. After being discharged from the United States Navy, Milk spent many hours taking pictures. Smith was his favorite model; sometimes Milk spent entire rolls of film just taking pictures of Smith.

Smith fell into a very deep depression after Milk was killed. He was the executor of Milk's last will and testament.[2]

Smith died from AIDS-related pneumonia on February 4, 1995 at the age of 46.[3][4]


  1. ^ Rootsweb Social Security Death Index search for Joseph S Smith. Retrieved on 25 February 2009.
  2. ^ Shilts, Randy (1982). The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk. St. Martin's Press.  
  3. ^ "Passages", Seattle Times, 1995-02-12,  
  4. ^ Martin, Michael (2008-11-08), "The Resurrection of Harvey Milk", The Advocate,  


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