Smith, Patricia C.: Second Recipient, SIOP Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award

Patricia Cain Smith was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 28, 1917, moving with her family to Nebraska shortly thereafter. She persevered through a difficult childhood, including many relocations because of her father’s (often failing) business ventures, being ostracized for her family’s liberal/socialist leanings, and the suicide of the father she adored when she was 15. And perhaps because of these challenges, Smith focused on her studies in school (graduating as valedictorian of her small graduating class) and at home (learning about gambling odds and how to perform “lightning calculations”). Her unorthodox parents provided vocational programming that would guide her career: a keen interest in both numbers and people, the values of hard work and accountability, and the uncanny ability to seize opportunities in any ...

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