Richard Vincent Smalley was born in New York City on June 21, 1932 and grew up in Larchmont, NY. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1953 and from the Temple University School of Medicine in 1957. After serving as a lieutenant in the United States Navy, he completed his residency at Temple University Hospital and his fellowship at Ohio State University.
Dr. Smalley was Professor of Medicine and Head of the Section of Medical Oncology at Temple University until 1981. He served as Branch Chief of the Biological Response Modifiers Program at the National Cancer Institute from 1982 - 1984. He worked in the Department of Human Oncology at the University of Wisconsin Cancer Center from 1984 - 1991, prior to starting his own cancer clinical trials management company, Synertron, Inc.
As one of the International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer (iSBTc) – which formally became the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer in 2002 – charter members, Dr. Smalley was an integral part of the society's fabric from its inception. Dr. Smalley served on the original Board of Directors from 1984 - 1990, where he also served as the society's third President from 1988 - 1990, leading the society through some of its most formative years.
In 1994 - 1998, while serving as iSBTc Treasurer, the environment for biological therapy began to change and the Society faced many challenges. During this time, Dr. Smalley showed inspirational devotion by meeting these challenges and administering the Society from his own home and nurturing its continued growth. iSBTc's success is due, in large part, to the consummate dedication and leadership of Dr. Richard Smalley.
A seven-year survivor of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Dr. Smalley died of an unrelated brain tumor at his home in Edgewater, MD on January 17, 2004 at the age of 71.