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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Robert Sidney Smith, January 25, 1999. Interview I-0081. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Smith learned values from his parents, his church, and the marines

Smith says that he learned his values from his parents, his church, and the Marine Corps.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Robert Sidney Smith, January 25, 1999. Interview I-0081. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JM: Let me stop you there before we turn to the --. We're interested in leadership themes as well, so that will motivate a few of these questions. What's your sense of the factors most responsible for your values formation? Would you point to your parents, as most people do, community leaders growing up? SS: The initial values were certainly installed by both parents. They were very strong influences in my life. Again, with my father being so much older than I was, his value system was based in an era that most people my age weren't exposed to. Being born in the late 1800s, his values had late-1800 values and he transferred those on to me. Plus, he was an outdoorsman, physical et cetera, so he imparted those. My mother on the other side was the epitome of grace, culture, class, the right knife, fork and spoon, Emily Post and all that. So I got those two kinds of things imposed upon me. They kind of became ingrained early on. Both parents were also very religious, and so I was brought up in the church. I think that was another good foundation. Like most kids growing up, you know you're exposed to church, but it doesn't kick in until later on in life. When the time came that I really needed to rely on religious and spiritual things, the foundation was there. JM: Baptist church? SS: Presbyterian. JM: Presbyterian. SS: So, that was there. Then the Marine Corps I think galvanized all of it, particularly Officers Candidate School, recruit training. That really kind of tied everything together in a real strong organizational content for knowing who you are, and then having confidence in yourself, and then being in a position to hopefully be a leader. That's certainly what the Marine Corps imparted.