MEMPHIS, Tenn. — William “Ham” Smythe III, longtime Memphis businessman and philanthropist, has died, according to an obituary published in The Commercial Appeal. He was 91.
Smythe, owner of Yellow Cab of Memphis and several other transportation businesses, was invested deeply in both people and in the community of Memphis. Smythe was the driving force behind a number of Lamar Alexander’s 1979 economic initiatives, and was integral in the creation of the Agricenter International.
He was instrumental in securing the National Historic designation for the Central Gardens neighborhood, protecting it from further urban development.
As chairman of the Greater Memphis Arts Council, Smythe promoted beauty in all things. His support gave new life to art in a city that needed it. He was a founding member of the Phoenix Club (now the Boys and Girls club). In his capacity, Smythe helped provide safe educational and recreational activities for children.
Smythe will be laid to rest at Memorial Park Funeral Home. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 15. He is survived by his three children and eight grand children.