Renowned businessman was leader in
health care philanthropy

BOSTON – (September 21, 2020) — Joslin Diabetes Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, mourns the loss of Richard A. “Dick” Smith, a longtime Joslin Board of Trustees member and ardent supporter of diabetes research, treatment and education.

“Dick was a valued member of the Joslin Board of Trustees for 18 years. His wisdom and support helped Joslin achieve its goal to become the world leader in diabetes research and clinical care. He will be truly missed,” said Joslin Board of Trustees Chair Ann Lagasse.

“Dick was a devoted, committed and generous benefactor to Joslin for over 20 years. As one of the top lifetime donors to Joslin, he quietly supported many areas of our research and clinical care and enabled Joslin to propel forward in its mission to prevent, treat and ultimately cure diabetes,” said Dr. Roberta Herman, President and CEO of Joslin Diabetes Center.

Mr. Smith was the Co-Chairman of the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation. He held a wide range of influential business and civic positions over the course of his career. He was the former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Harcourt General, the Neiman Marcus Group and the GC Companies. He held directorships at the First National Bank of Boston, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Wang Laboratories.

In addition to his service to Joslin, Mr. Smith was involved in numerous civic activities, including as a board member of Year Up, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Harvard University, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, Facing History & Ourselves Foundation, United Cerebral Palsy Research and Education Foundation, and was Director Emeritus of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.

Mr. Smith graduated from Harvard College with a Bachelor of Science degree and honorary doctorate degrees from both Harvard University and Boston College.

He was predeceased by his wife of 63 years Susan and a son. He is survived by two daughters and another son, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. You may read more about his life here.