JB Smiley, Jr. is a native Memphian, hailing from a family of five siblings, born to a social worker and a Bronze Star army soldier. He understands the value of hard work and the importance of a supportive community.
JB’s journey started from a young age, where he learned about teamwork and leadership as a Cub Scout with the Boy Scouts of America. From working as a landfill cleaner to washing dishes, he has never been afraid to get his hands dirty.
After a successful collegiate and semi-professional basketball career, JB pursued a legal education and later a political career. He attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, where he was actively involved as a member of the Law Review, Moot Court Board, and served as Vice President of the Black Law Students Association.
JB’s determination paid off as he successfully passed the Arkansas and Tennessee Bar exams, all while writing his first book, “Born With It: Unleashing Your Greatness.” In 2017, JB founded his own law practice, Smiley & Associates, PLLC, in Memphis. The following year, he was recognized by Memphis Flyer as one of the Top 20 Under 30. During that same year, he was appointed as a policy advisor to the Shelby County Clerk and served in that capacity until his election to the Memphis City Council in October 2019.
Currently, JB serves as Vice Chair of the City Council and holds key roles as Chair of the Public Works, Solid Waste & General Services Committee, Vice Chair of the Planning & Zoning Committee, and council liaison for the Urban Art Commission and the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission.
In his spare time, JB enjoys playing basketball, working out, binge-watching Netflix shows, and spending quality time with his dog, Mighty Mouse, and his nephew, Bryson Maxwell Smiley. He lives by his father’s words to “never forget the bridge that brought you over” and remains committed to serving his community and making a positive impact.?