C. Mark Smith spent forty years as a nationally-recognized economic development professional. He published his first book, Raising Cain, a biography of controversial Washington Senator Harry P. Cain, in 2011. His second book, Community Godfather, tells the inside story of how Sam Volpentest, a pint-sized giant of a man, used his political connections and sheer determination to shape the history of the Hanford Site and neighboring Tri-Cities, Washington communities. His articles have appeared in academic and historical journals in the Pacific Northwest and as far away as Turkey.
In 2014, Smith was asked by the American Queen Steamboat Company, which operates the American Empress cruise ship on the Columbia River, to write a short history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition that their passengers could reference as they cruise the Snake and Columbia rivers. In the Wake of Lewis and Clark: From the Mountains to the Sea was published in 2015 for the American Queen Steamboat Company.
On April 13, 2015, Mark received the 2015 Murray Morgan Award by the Tacoma Historical Society for significant efforts to preserve and communicate local history. He is also the recipient of the John M. McClelland Jr. Award for the best article to appear in Columbia, the Journal of the Washington State Historical Society, in 2010.