The black business community in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area has reeled after the President and CEO of the Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce was found dead at her home in Bixby on Wednesday.
Sherry Gamble Smith, 55, and her husband, Martin Everett Smith, 54, were spotted by officers just after 8 a.m., Bixby Police Department spokesman Officer Bryan Toney told The Daily Beast. Officers who arrived at the home found Smith dead and Martin seriously injured.
He was taken to a hospital where he later died, according to Toney, an 911 call came from the house.
A suspect is not actively being sought in the investigation, said police, who have not yet released details of how the couple died.
“We can now release that this is a death investigation,” said Toney, who said PD Bixby is working with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation on the case.
Gamble Smith, who served as President of the Historic Greenwood Chamber of Commerce prior to her most recent role, is fondly remembered as a “colleague and personal friend” by Phil Armstrong, Interim Executive Director of the Greenwood Rising Black Wall Street History Center. .”
“She was an incredible person who was always thinking about putting others before herself,” Armstrong told The Daily Beast on Wednesday afternoon.
“She started an organization for women in business called Women Empowering Nations, which was literally a network for women who wanted to start their own businesses and to give them inspiration and encouragement… She was also the driving force behind the Juneteenth festival . in Tulsa as it was built year after year.’
Armstrong called Gamble Smith’s shocking death a “great loss” and “a shock to the entire community.”
“I’ve had messages from people all over town, from local family members to people who run the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce,” he said. “She was very, very, well known and very respected throughout the community.”
The Black Wall Street Chamber did not immediately comment publicly on the situation.
This story has been updated with the correct photo of Sherry Gamble Smith.