Henry Dale Smith Sr., the founder and chairman emeritus of H. D. Smith, has passed away at age 87.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Sept. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- H. D. Smith, the largest independent wholesaler in the U.S., today announced that Henry Dale Smith Sr., the company's founder and chairman emeritus, passed away at age 87 in Springfield, surrounded by family and loved ones.
"The entire H. D. Smith family is deeply saddened by the loss of our founder and a pioneer in healthcare distribution, Henry Dale Smith," said Henry Dale Smith Jr., his eldest son and current chairman and CEO of H. D. Smith Holding Company. "Dad's vision and passion for ensuring that community pharmacies, hospitals, and patients are able to access the health products they need, when and how they need them, is what continues to inspire us each day. His legacy will live on, even as we mourn."
A longtime figure in the Springfield, Illinois community and entrepreneur in pharmaceutical distribution, Smith founded H. D. Smith in January 1954 with the mission of providing outstanding, personalized customer service to local pharmacies in the Midwest. A pharmacist by trade, Mr. Smith served as chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors of H. D. Smith, and most recently, its chairman emeritus. H. D. Smith is the fourth-largest national pharmaceutical wholesaler today.
As the company continued to grow and evolve, two of Mr. Smith's four sons, Dale Smith and James Christopher Smith, assumed leadership roles in the organization. Chris is now president and CEO of H. D. Smith.
For decades, Mr. Smith served as an active member of the National Wholesale Druggists Association (NWDA) and was a regular attendee at national and regional meetings. In 1973, he joined the NWDA Pharmaceutical Marketing Committee, serving as its chairman in 1975. From 1984-1986, he also served on the NWDA Board of Directors. He received the Healthcare Distribution Management Association Nexus Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2003.
Mr. Smith earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from The Citadel and a pharmacy degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a Rotary Club member for more than 40 years. He also served as a deacon, elder and trustee at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield during the 60 years he attended services there.