Smith Bagley is the President of the Arca Foundation and has been a Trustee of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation since 1959. Both of these foundations owe their fortunes to Smith Bagley's grandfather, Richard Joshua Reynolds, Sr., founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Smith Bagley is also the former National Finance Vice-Chairman for the Democratic National Committee.
Smith Bagley’s mother Nancy (daughter of Richard Joshua Reynolds) and her husband Henry Bagley purchased a 600-acre estate on St. Simons Island, Georgia and dubbed it "Musgrove." Today this estate is the part-time home of Smith Bagley and his wife Elizabeth. It is commonly used as a retreat for policy-makers, influential thinkers, and progressive activists from around the world. Former President Jimmy Carter held his first pre-inaugural Cabinet meeting in the seclusion of Musgrove. Smith Bagley has also hosted such notables as Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Barbra Streisand there.
Both Smith and Elizabeth Bagley are pro-Castro activists who have tirelessly advocated for a lifting of U.S. sanctions against the Communist Cuban dictator.
Mr. Bagley contributed some $30,000 to Bill Clinton’s Legal Defense Fund between 1998 and 2000.