Hyrum W. Smith – A Tribute To A Legend

Hyrum W. Smith recently passed away after a fierce battle with cancer. We will miss his inviting smile and contagious enthusiasm.
“When your daily activities are in concert with your highest priorities, you have a credible claim to inner peace.”
—Hyrum W. Smith
Hyrum founded the Franklin Quest Company in 1983. He was a distinguished author, speaker, businessman, and the original creator of the popular Franklin Day Planner. He was a gifted teacher, and spent years training individuals and organizations in the time management principles on which the Franklin Day Planner was based. In 1997 his company acquired Stephen Covey’s training company to became the FranklinCovey Company.
For more than four decades, Hyrum empowered millions of people to effectively govern their personal and professional lives. Hyrum is the author of several nationally acclaimed books, including The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management, What Matters Most, The Modern Gladiator, and The 3 Gaps. His books and presentations have been acclaimed by American and international audiences. He had a knack for combining wit and enthusiasm to communicate compelling principles and incite lasting personal change.
“The only thing you have 100 percent control over is you.”
—Hyrum W. Smith
Born in 1943, Hyrum grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, and spent two years in London, England as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When he returned from London he was drafted into the army.
He married Gail Cooper in 1966 while on leave. They have six children and 24 grandchildren. After earning Honor Graduate distinction from Officers Candidate School, he commanded a Pershing Missile unit in Germany. Hyrum graduated from Brigham Young University in 1971 with a degree in Business Management.
Hyrum has received numerous honors and community service awards, including the following:

  • International Entrepreneur of the Year by Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management in 1993
  • Three honorary doctorate degrees
  • SRI Gallup Hall of Fame and Man of the Year Award in 1992
  • Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America
  • Inducted into the Utah Business Hall of Fame

Hyrum enjoyed golfing, shooting pistols and rifles, listening to classical music, horse riding, and spending time with his family at his ranch in southern Utah.
“There is no chance, no fate, no destiny that can circumvent, or hinder, or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.”
—Hyrum W. Smith

24 Replies to “Hyrum W. Smith – A Tribute To A Legend”

  1. So sorry to hear about Mr. Smith’s passing. Thankful for his service, and great inspiration. His legacy will live on, the world needs more people like Mr. Hyrum Smith. May God continue to bless and comfort his family, friends, and the company.

  2. This was so interesting, and sad. I’m sorry for his family. Thank you for posting this biography; I hadn’t known about this accomplished man and his connection to my FranklinCovey planner.

  3. The Franklin Planner has made my life better over the years, and whenever I use mine I’ll think of its creator. I’m extremely sorry to hear of Mr. Smith’s passing. He was a good man doing good things in the world.

  4. I’ve been using a Franklin Planner for over 20 yrs. as have most of my key people. I’d rather lose my wallet than my planner. I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr.Smith but wished I had to tell him what a great influence he had on my business and life.

  5. My condolences to Mr. Smith’s family. The world will miss this amazing man. The FranklinCovey planner is a blessing and I would be lost without it.

  6. Hyrum Smith has left behind a great legacy and a wonderful company. My condolences for the loss of such a great influencer and leader. He will certainly be missed.

  7. Sad to hear of his passing. I memorized the sun-dial poem Hyrum uses in one of the early Time Quest seminars and I actually used it in a talk just 3 weeks ago! He had an excellent way of explaining concepts and principles that have helped me a lot in my life. Many thanks Hyrum.

  8. He was a great guy, I worked with Hyrum as head of his UK & Europe sales operation, succeeding Charles Macadam, I started as a sales manager in 1993 And left in 98 after the amalgamation with the Covey organisation.
    Nothing was too much trouble, when we were Franklin Quest if I needed his assistance at an important presentation he would get on a plane and come over. After we became Franklin Covey I asked for the same assistance from Stephen Covey and was quoted a daily rate plus his air fare and hotel costs. I left 3 months later.
    I am still an avid Franklin user even though I retired 5 years ago, it has been the biggest influence in my career and Hyrum taught me a lot about business and presenting.
    RIP Big Man.

  9. Really, Mr. Smith came of great men and he was a great man in this generation. In Brazil as well as in other places of the world his planner method was an icon in the companies, in special those of high technology at the IT sector where the changing effects are increasingly faster and stronger on all markets. His main mission was accomplished with the success which were hopped of him since the begin. He left an important legacy for all such as all great minds left. Now, he will have the oppotunity to continue applying their knowledges accumulated at this mortal plan for other goals much more elevated in the spiritual world according is clearly writeen in the scriptures.

  10. Believe it or not yesterday the 29th I was thinking about Hyrum Smith And wondering how he was if he was alive and what was going on with him, remembering my planner classes wondering if there’s a possibility of reaching out and touching base with him thanking him for the time he gave us all. He must have reached out and touched base with us again! Well Hyrum thank you.

  11. I’m so sorry to hear about Mr. Smith’s passing. Please convey my sincere condolences to Hyrum’s family! I worked with Hyrum at Automatic Data Processing (ADP) – Dealer Services in the 1970’s where he was the Sales Manager and I was in Technical Support. I have fond memories of him always being happy & positive, and often heard him whistling in the halls in our building at 81st & NE Killingsworth. Thankful for his service, and great inspiration. His legacy will live on, the world needs more people like Mr. Hyrum Smith. May God continue to bless and comfort his family, friends, and the company.

    Greg Sievers

  12. I had an opportunity to attend a class Hyrum taught back in the late 80’s. I can probably go back and find the date in my planner. Later I was able to spend about an hour one-on-one with him. Not only was Hyrum a gifted teacher, he was a great man. His influence in our brief encounter has impacted my life forever. The world has lost a great man….

  13. I just saw this as I was looking to get refill pages for my planner. I was fortunate enough to have had the privilege of working with Hyrum when he spoke for an organization that I was a part of. He was truly a class act.We worked with many speakers but I really appreciated Hyrum’s humble nature. Many speakers did not have that. He had a large influence in my life and my personal success. He will be greatly missed.

  14. I am truly sorry to hear about Hyrum Smith’s passing. My prayers go out to his family. While working for Citicorp in 1987, I had was privileged to attend one of his time management classes when it was Franklin Quest. Since that time I have used planners and have found the entire planning system very valuable in my career. I have some of his books and tapes and they were helpful and reinforced his teaching. The authenticity of his messages were very inspiring. I did some soul searching recently after trying a different approach to my planning that has not worked as well and it brought me back to this site to purchase a traditional planner for 2020. I am thankful for crossing his path and the positive impact. His legacy is set and etched in the minds of all who attended his classes, workshops, read his books or listed to this tapes. May he rest in peace.

  15. 2 days ago, I found out that Mr. Smith changed his permanent address to Heaven. Oh, it was one of my worst days and best day in 2019. I was extremely sad that he left us, but his quote strengthened my life so much more. I always believed what the quote says. I started my serious life earlier than other teenagers with believing myself. What a quote he left wit us. It is a well organized, strong, decisive quote ever!
    Thank you, Mr. Smith!

  16. Hyrum taught my training class when I was introduced to the Franklin Planning System just after I joined Hallmark Cards in the late 1980’s. The Franklin system was required of all Hallmark employees and I still remember his class as one of the best of my adult life, and I often think of his energy and enthusiasm when I’m now teaching my own classes to entrepreneurs. What an amazing indivdual!

  17. I’m truly saddened to hear of his passing. I really learned a lot from his books and I am grateful that he existed. His insights have bettered the world.

  18. A prayer for his family and of gratitude to having the honor to meet him and for all that he has offered to others. We are all blessed to be indirectly or directly touched by his lifelong work.

  19. I never heard the pleasure of meeting Hyrum Smith and I can tell from the comments he was an amazing human being. As a young Realtor, I purchased his system with the leather binder before the merger. I still use the binder to this day “everyday” and have adopted his system into my career very successfully. I am absolutely positive the Franklin planner helped make me a successful Realtor and I am grateful. I am sad to learn of Hyrums passing. I know that people can touch our lives in extraordinary ways and his life and dedication for helping people is proof of his good Mark on this world. I am thankful for him. My condolences to his family and friends.

  20. I enjoyed listening to his stories during the training seminars. I have several of his talks on tape. His influence and character has been a life changing experience for me. Thank you Hyrum for your example and your influence to so many people.

  21. I was first introduced to the Franklin Planner system when it was the Franklin International Institute. I immediately became a fan, starting with the Classic size planner, and growing my collection to include binders in all 4 sizes, in a variety of colors and styles. I purchased Mr. Smith’s books, tapes, and CD’s. I still have periods of difficulty maximizing my use of the system, but treasure it none the less. I sent Mr. Smith an email a couple months ago when he had became affiliated with the Genesys (sp?) company. His personality and advice have substantially contributed to my effectiveness as a clinical social worker and ordained minister. I am thankful to have become acquainted with him and home Franklin Covey continues to market/distribute products and services initiated by him. Thanks Hyrum for a better quality of life. God Bless!

  22. Hyrum was a great leader and owner of FranklinCovey. I had the opportunity to run one of his stores for many years. I still utilize what I learned from him on a daily basis. I had the opportunity to meet him a few times at our management conferences. Thank you, for creating a tool that allowed me to spend more time to focus on “What Matters Most.” Your life improved mine immeasurably.

  23. I was saddened to hear of Hyrum Smith’s passing.

    I was fortunate to be in one of his time management classes in 1983. He was a superb teacher, and his emphasis on personal values forming the basis of our goals was quite revolutionary at the time. He also announced that the Daytimer, in use then, was developed for the needs of attorneys, but not well suited for businessmen. He stated that he was working on this own planner system for the following year.
    Later in the 1990s, I was curious to see how he was doing with his business. I was shocked to see Franklin Quest listed in the New York Stock Exchange! He indeed demonstrated ‘the firm resolve of a determined soul!”

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