The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, commonly known as the Al Smith Dinner, is an annual white tie dinner in New York City, United States, to raise funds for Catholic charities supporting children of various needs in the Archdiocese of New York.[1] Held at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on the third Thursday of October, it is hosted by the Archbishop of New York while organized by the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation in honor of Al Smith who grew up in poverty and later became the Governor of New York four times and the first Catholic nominated as the Democratic candidate for the 1928 United States presidential election.

Quick facts: Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, D...
Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner
Date(s)Third Thursday of October
Location(s)Waldorf Astoria New York
Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States
Founded1945 (1945)
LeaderArchbishop of New York
Organized byAlfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation

Cardinal Francis Spellman founded and hosted the first dinner in 1945 after Smith's death the previous year. By 1960 the Al Smith dinner had become a "ritual of American politics", in the words of Theodore H. White. It is generally the last event at which the two U.S. presidential candidates share a stage before the election.[2] Apart from presidential candidates, keynote speakers have included Tony Blair,[3] Tom Brokaw, Bob Hope, Henry Kissinger, Clare Boothe Luce, and many other prominent civic, business, and church leaders.[4]

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