The Tuskegee Airman broke the military color barrier during World War II. Smith spent much of his service during the war as a flight instructor.
After the war, Smith was a Gary school principal and served on the city council.
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says the city is saddened by the passing of an icon and that Smith leaves behind a legacy that won't be forgotten. She says she was grateful so many people were able to learn about Smith last year when a Congressional Gold Medal he was awarded in 2007 was replaced after being stolen.
Funeral arrangements were pending.