Charles R. Smart

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Charles Rich Smart was a surgeon and the founder of the Utah Cancer Registry, which became part of the National SEER Program.

He was born on November 7, 1926, in Ogden, Utah, and was raised on sheep ranches in Wyoming and California. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Northwestern States.

Smart received his undergraduate degree from the University of Utah and his medical degree from Temple University. He then interned one year at Los Angeles County Hospital. He filled a five-year surgical residency at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a fellowship in surgical oncology at UCLA Medical Center where he became a staff member.

He later returned to Salt Lake City to fill a position on the University of Utah Hospital staff. He was Chief of Surgery at LDS Hospital for ten years. For five of those years he served as director of the cancer division of the American College of Surgeons.

In 1966, Smart founded the Utah Cancer Registry under the auspices of the Regional Medical Program. In 1973, the Utah Cancer Registry became one of the original members of the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. 

In 1985, he helped create and became chief of the Early Detection Branch of the National Cancer Institute.

He received the 1996 David Rockefeller Spirit of Service Award for his volunteer work setting up registries in Ecuador and Hungary.

He married Dorotha Sharp in 1952. They were the parents of six children. In 1999, Dr. Smart and Dorotha served as medical missionaries in Russia for the Church of Jesus Christ. He used his computer expertise to help the Church obtain efficient health care for missionaries throughout the world.

Smart died on January 28, 2006.