Will Smith, 1986

Will Smith, 1986
The Record, Overbrook High School

Will Smith in science class at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, PA, 1986.

Willard “Will” Carroll Smith, Jr. is an American actor, producer, rapper and songwriter. He graduated with the class of 1986 from Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, PA. Smith's break-out role in the late-1980s hit television show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air led to a successful career in Hollywood. 

Raised in a middle-class “Baptist” home, his parents sent Will to Overbrook High School, a Catholic school, where they felt he would get the best education.  In high school, his precociousness sometimes got him in trouble, but his charm, good-natured personality, quick-wittedness, good looks, and award-winning smile easily got him off the hook, and he soon won the nickname, “Prince.”  As a senior with high SAT scores, Smith had an offer to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) after high school, but he opted out of college to pursue what had already become a successful career in entertainment.

Will Smith, Blackpast.org

Timeline: 1980s
Career: Arts & Humanities
Object: Image
Collection: Integration and Differentiation 1969-1994, Pop Culture, Recruitment