longtime resident of Greenwich, founder of The Center for Specialty Care, a leading surgeon in plastic and reconstructive surgery, the longest serving New York City Honorary Police Surgeon, Clinical Professor of Surgery at Cornell University Medical College and owner of The Smith Collection of Penny Arcade Machines and Related Memorabilia, died on Tuesday August 15th in Greenwich following a stroke on Monday. He was 79.
Dr. Smith was a nationally renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon, teacher and researcher having a career that spanned fifty years. In addition to his surgical practice, he was Associate Attending Surgeon at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center (from 1972), Attending Surgeon at Beth Israel North Medical Center (formerly Doctors Hospital) (from 1976), Consulate in Reconstructive Surgery of the Hand at The Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut (from 1969) and Consulate in Reconstructive Surgery at The Hackensack Hospital (from 1980). Dr. Smith was also Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at Cornell University Medical College from 1972.
Jim Smith was born in East Liverpool, Ohio on October 29, 1926. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 1948 before attending Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where he received his M.D. in 1952. His medical internships and residencies were at the Roosevelt Hospital, the U.S. Veterans Administration (in the Bronx) and Cornell Hospital. He was an Elder and Deacon at the Central Presbyterian Church on Fifth Avenue.
In 1988 Dr. Smith founded The Center for Specialty Care, the first New York State licensed free-standing ambulatory surgery center of which he was Medical Director and Chairman of the Board until his death. His farsighted vision for the delivery of the highest quality of medical care in an ambulatory setting was achieved. The magnificent office building that houses The Center was once featured in Architectural Digest.
Dr. Smith was renowned as an international teacher and researcher. The United States' State Department sent him to India to research leprosy and the use of microsurgery to assist in the healing of patients. As Visiting Professor he lectured and taught throughout the world, including travelling to Tokyo, Moscow, London, Istanbul, Paris and Sidney.
He served as president of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, as well as president of the Education Foundation of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and of the New York Regional Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons.
He was a member of more than 40 local, state, national and international medical organizations including the Medical Strollers of New York.
Dr. Smith authored or co-authored eight books, ten book chapters, four films and over 70 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. His book Plastic Surgery: A Concise Guide to Clinical Practice continues to be used in medical schools today.
In addition to his surgical skills, Dr. Smith also was known as a premier collector of antique penny arcade games and music machines. At 9 Pear Lane in a remodeled barn he housed the world's largest collection of coin-operated games in the world. When the more than 740 lots were sold in 1995 at Sotheby's Auction Galleries in New York, it was said to mark the end of an era. It is doubtful that any one person would ever be able to amass such a collection again.
Dr. Smith continued to take an active interest in his hometown of East Liverpool Ohio. He was instrumental in obtaining the site for the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame and has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees since 1998.
He owned the Homestead Inn in Greenwich for nineteen years. Jim Smith was a member of the Belle Haven and Round Hill Clubs. All five of Dr. Smith's children graduated from The Greenwich Country Day School.
Dr. Smith is survived by his wife, Nancy, as well as their five children: Lucinda, Judith, James, Constance and Peter. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren.
A Memorial Service will be held Thursday August 24, 2006 at 11:00 am at The Christ Church, Greenwich. Memorial contributions may be made to Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in memory of James W. Smith, M.D, (212) 304 -7449.
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
It´s been many years since I worked with Dr. Smith. my memories of his family and his successes will always be with me. It was an exciting time in a young girl´s life to work for a man with such vision and accomplishment.
Bonnie Mel nick kissel
January 20, 2022
So sorry for your loss. I did not know until I ran into Kim T at the State Fair.
September 12, 2006
I enjoyed working with Jim over the years on our genealogy projects. I am sad that he and I never met in person. I extend my love at this time of grief to all.
September 10, 2006
Thinking of you,as you can imagine.
With love Toni and Ralph
Toni and Ralph Wyman
September 4, 2006
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
August 26, 2006
Mark, Mindy & family,
Take comfort in all of the wonderful memories you have. Jim will be greatly missed.
Lee, Laurie Nichole & Lee Jr.
August 26, 2006
It's been over thirty years since I have seen Mr. Smith but my memories of him being such a caring and loving husband and father are as vivid today as they were back in the early 70's. It was no accident that both he and Mrs. Smith instilled those same qualities in their children whom I had the pleasure of going to GCDS with so to the entire Smith family and especially Mrs. Smith, Cindy, Judy and my dear friend Jim, please accept my sincere condolences for the home going of Mr. Smith but also my gratitude for sharing him with us all and all the lives that he touched. Be Blessed
David "Moochie" Waddell
August 24, 2006
I am very sorry to hear about your loss and my thought and prayers are with the whole family.
Pamela Noffsinger (Baker)
August 23, 2006
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Sandy & Mark Tratt & Family
August 22, 2006
Dear Nancy,we were saddened to hear about Jim.He will be missed. We have fond memories of seeing you both around the BH pool.You and your family will all be remembered in our prayers.Sincerely, Connie & George Poillon.
August 22, 2006
To the Smith/Schenck Family:
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Remember all the good times and the friends and family that are here for you to lean on during this time of loss and in the future. Again you're in our thoughts and prayers.
With Our Love!
Carol & David Nervina
Carol & David Nervina
August 21, 2006
To the Smith family,
On behalf of the Wayne family, please accept my heart-felt sympathy in Jim's passing.
As neighbors in the post World War II era, we all shared some great times playing good old fashion "barn-floor basketball".
My thoughts and prayers are with you during these difficult times.
August 20, 2006
Mindy and Mark,
I want to tell you how sorry I am to hear that your father passed away. I will remember your father from when I visited with him on christmas eve. When I had come to New York. I will remember you and your family in my prayers. May God be with you.