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Smith, Robert E. (Robert Edward), 1943-2016



  • Existence: 1943 - 2016

Biographical Information

Robert E. Smith, Jr. was born on March 10, 1943 to parents Robert E. and Margie Edes Smith in Holyoke, MA. He graduated from Fairfield High School in Dayton, OH in 1960. He was accepted at Harding College, graduating with degrees in Speech and English in 1964. He received his M.F.A from the University of Oregon in 1966 where he studied Creative Writing and went on to complete his Ph.D. in Speech and Dramatic Arts from the University of Missouri in 1969. He married Pauletta Verett Smith in 1968.

Rob Smith began his teaching career as an Assistant Instructor at the University of Missouri from 1968-1969. Moving to Purdue University in 1969, he started as a professor of Oral Interpretation of Literature, and eventually became a pioneer of the Basic Communication Course (Comm 114) beginning in 1987. His love of travel started when he received a Ford Foundation Travel Grant to study in Japan and was later named a Writer-In-Residence at the Amerika Haus in Hamburg, Germany. This led to his teaching of Intercultural Communications later in his career. In 2011, Rob retired and was designated as a Professor Emeritus of Communications.

Rob traveled to all 50 states and 16 countries in Europe as well as Asia, Central America, Mexico, and Africa. He also traveled to Guatemala five times, where he served as a Spanish to English translator for Health Talents International. Rob and Pauletta were American parents to many international students throughout the years.

Rob passed away on Thursday June 9, 2016 at Cumberland Pointe Health Campus after an 11 year struggle with Parkinson's Disease. At Rob's request, his body was donated to the Indiana University School of Medicine for research purposes.


Obituary, Lafayette Journal & Courier, June 14-15, 2016

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Robert E. Smith papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 535
Scope and Contents The Robert E. Smith papers include creative writings and related papers from the life and career of Robert E. Smith. The collection primarily comprises manuscripts for short stories, poems, essays, novels and novellas, sermons, and plays. The collection also includes research documents on various topics, notably orator John Walker and mystery solving; instruction materials from the classes Smith taught in the Purdue Communication Department; and personal documents such as correspondence, travel...
Dates: 1939 - 2014