Eye On Boise

Bob Smith, orthodontist, powder-skiers' hero, dies at 78

Here's an obituary from the Idaho Mountain Express/AP: KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) ― Robert Earl "Bob" Smith, an orthodontist whose passion for skiing powder snow helped turn him into a goggle and sunglasses pioneer, died last week of complications related to heart surgery. Smith's family confirmed his April 18 death in California to the Idaho Mountain Express (http://bit.ly/InsEWq ). He was 78. After frustrating goggle-fogging experiences while skiing, Smith in the 1960s used dental tools and foam to create a double-lensed ski goggle whose inner lens was protected from the cold. Drew Smith, his son, says the goggle resulted from his need to see while skiing deep powder. Smith built the Smith Sport Optics headquarters in Ketchum in the early-1970s. But before he struck a deal for the manufacturing of Smith goggles in the late-1960s, Smith would often trade his goggles for lift tickets.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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