After receiving an honorable discharge from the United States Marine Corps, Dick Smith began his career on Wall Street in 1959. He worked for two New York firms and was responsible for trading corporate bonds, foreign bonds, municipal bonds . In 1964 he was asked to move to Chicago to head up the Fixed-Income division for New York Hanseatic Company. This is when Dick was introduced to Rugby while watching a game in Grant Park. He immediately took to the game and spent the next decade building one of the great clubs in American rugby, the Chicago Lions. During his tenure as Lions President for seven years, Dick also made time to help organize the second Special Olympics held in Chicago in 1970. In addition, Dick served two terms as President of the Midwest Union and, in that capacity, facilitated the formation of the United States Rugby Football Union (USARFU), now known as USA Rugby, proudly affixing his signature to the Union’s Charter on June 7th, 1975.
Dick worked in Chicago for thirteen years and then moved to Seattle in 1977 where he served two terms as President of the Old Puget Sound Beach RFC and helped form the Pacific Northwest Unions, and was a selector for their representative side, the Loggers. Dick also served as Manager in 1986 for the U.S. Eagles in the Hong Kong Sevens where they won their first Plate Final, the best showing by a North American team.
As the glory days of his playing career faded, he put together an International touring side of old boys, the USA Owls. The team played social matches while supporting the US Eagles on their international tours. The first Owls tour was to London in 1977 and 4 additional Tours followed throughout the years. These teams were known as “The Old Peculiars” when playing within the U.S.
As a US Rugby supporter few can rival Smith’s mileage, be it the old Inter-Territorial Tournaments, Golden Oldies, Rugby World Cup, Hong Kong Sevens, USA Sevens or the World Rugby Classic in Bermuda, he was a constant presence at the sport’s preeminent events. He also has made significant financial investments as well. A longtime sponsor of Team America (now the Classic Eagles), Smith provided much of the seed money for the development of the IRB-sanctioned pitch in Seattle. He continues to contribute financially to both the Chicago Lions and Women’s rugby to assist in their continued growth and success, as well as to the US Rugby Foundation.
While seemingly all rugby, all the time, Smith spent over fifty years in the securities industry. He opened his own firm, R.W. Smith & Associates in 1985, a municipal bond inter-dealer brokerage firm. After 30 years of being involved with his company, he sold his firm in 2015 and has since retired from the financial industry.
As he states, he did what he did for Rugby simply for the Love of the Game. Rugby has been the great joy and passion of his life, the friendships formed, and the memories made over a lifetime in the sport are his true rewards.