Robert Brookings Smith, emeritus trustee and member of the Board of Trustees since 1963, died in his sleep Monday, Dec. 30, 2002, at his home in Ladue, Mo. He was 99.
Smith was a highly respected St. Louis banker and civic leader. During his dedicated tenure on the board, he served as vice chairman from 1966-1971 and was a valuable member of the Executive, Nominating, Investments, and Student Affairs committees. He also was a founding member of the National Council of the School of Art.
In recognition of his support of the University, Smith received the Robert S. Brookings Awardin 2000.
Robert S. Brookings — chairman of the board from 1895-1928 — was Smith’s great uncle. In addition, Robert S. Brookings founded the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., for which Smith served as vice chairman of the board for several years.
Smith was an enthusiastic ambassador for St. Louis, giving leadership and support to the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Little Symphony Society, the Greater St. Louis Arts Council,St. Luke’s Hospital and the Urban Redevelopment Corp.
Smith became a partner in the brokerage firm of Smith, Moore & Co. in 1928, and then entered the Navy in 1942.
He served as lieutenant commander and navigator aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. White Plains in World War II. He was decorated for heroism in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
After the war, Smith returned to Smith, Moore & Co., wherehe became a limited partner in 1952. He then served as a financial adviser to Reconstruction Finance Corp. during its liquidation.
Smith joined Mercantile Trust Co. in 1956 as a vice president in the trust department. He later became a board member and was elected vice chairman of the Mercantile Trust in 1961.
Later, Smith started his own businesses, Cashex Inc., which specialized in automatic check-authorization cards, and National Cache Card, a firm that developed the use of smart cards as campus cards for the University. He later sold both businesses.
Until his death, Smith was a managing partner of Common Bond Associates of St. Louis, a research and development partnership.
Survivors include his wife, Nancy; daughters, Sally Duffield of Oxford, Mich., and Susan Romanski of St. Louis County; and a grandson.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Luke’s Hospital, 232 S. Woods Mill Road, Chesterfield, MO 63017.