Mark A. Smith, 35; organized fashion shows for Calvin Klein

Mark A. Smith, 35, a graduate of Robbinsdale High School who became a model, fashion show coordinator, musician and writer, died of complications of the AIDS virus Thursday at the University of Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis.

Smith was born in Los Angeles and moved to Minneapolis with his family when he was 2 years old. He graduated in 1976 from Robbinsdale High School, where he was a member of the declamation group, drama club, gymnastics team, newspaper staff and school band.

That fall he worked for a short time in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., then moved to New York City, where he signed with the Ford Modeling Agency. In 1977 he took a job with the newly opened Studio 54 nightclub. He was befriended by Calvin Klein and helped coordinate fashion shows for the designer. He became friends with Halston, Liza Minnelli and Andy Warhol.

Smith returned to Minneapolis in 1979 to attend the University of Minnesota for a year. He played clarinet in the university's symphony orchestra.

The following year, he went back to New York to study music and singing and played in jazz trios and for cabaret performers. He played flute and saxophone as well as the clarinet.

He studied at Columbia University and played in its orchestra. He graduated in 1984 with a degree in English literature. In 1986 he moved to San Diego and did graduate work at San Diego State University.

He wrote a column for an animal rights newsletter and was preparing a collection of poetry for publication when he died.

He moved back to Minneapolis in 1991 to undergo treatment for a brain tumor. The cancer went into remission, but then his AIDS was diagnosed.

Smith is survived by his parents, Vera and Lee, of Minneapolis; brothers David and John, of Minneapolis, and sisters Judy Smith, of Minneapolis, and Pam Mannarino, of Chicago.

(Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 13, 1993, Metro Edition)

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