Harry Leslie Smith, 95-year-old activist and podcaster, critically ill in hospital
Activist spoke with The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti in 2017
Update November 28, 2018: Harry Leslie Smith died in the early hours of Wednesday morning. He was 95.
Harry Leslie Smith grew up in extreme poverty, and lived through the Great Depression and the Second World War. In his later years, he used those experiences to fuel his fight for equality, against poverty and ill-treatment of refugees.
Now the 95-year-old activist and podcaster is in hospital, battling pneumonia. His son John has been providing updates through Harry's Twitter account, and says "the battle Harry is fighting now is for his life."
I have a need to do this because it keeps my thoughts from racing as I am alone with Harry in a darkened room with illuminated monitors, streaming out information, I really don't understand. We have shared so much together. <a href="https://t.co/zxNzy5JohY">https://t.co/zxNzy5JohY</a>—@Harryslaststand
The British-born Smith, who lives part-time in Canada, has spent his recent years writing books and visiting refugee camps in Europe to highlight the plight of the people living there. In his 90s, he started a podcast called Harry's Last Stand, sharing his message with tens of thousands of listeners: Don't let my past become your future.
"I'm worried because I like people, I love people, and I know what it's like when people suffer," he told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti in 2017.
Since his hospitalization in Belleville, Ont. on Nov. 20, John has been fielding a swell of support from well-wishers, including from leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
Harry’s journey and courage have inspired so much love and kindness on this site, and in the real world too. Thank you for taking us along - we’re pulling for you. <a href="https://t.co/N6AVk9knaP">https://t.co/N6AVk9knaP</a>—@JustinTrudeau
One of the latest tweets from John said that last night was the first since he went into hospital that Harry wasn't able to wish him good night with a kiss on the cheek.
In 2017, The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti spoke with Smith to talk about his incredible life story, and why he won't stop fighting for equality. Listen to their conversation below.