Official CBS.com Survivor: Palau bio
page excerpts (1/26/05):
"Born and raised in Connecticut, Willard Smith spent his
early childhood in and out of hospitals. He contracted
rheumatic fever when he was five years old. He spent several
years in a wheelchair and one full year in a children's
hospital. Eventually he recovered and joined the Marine
Corps on his 17th birthday. Smith spent the next five years
with the Marine Corps, serving two years in Vietnam as a
scout/sniper in a reconnaissance unit.
In 1969, Smith left the Marine Corps. He spent two years
working as a letter carrier for the US Postal Service while
attending college full-time at night. He quit the Post
Office in 1972 and completed his undergraduate degree at San
Diego State University where he graduated with high honors
and earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and philosophy.
He was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
On July 4, 1971, Smith met his future wife. They moved in
together that night and have been together ever since. He
joined the Army in 1975 and served as a race relations
specialist until 1981. He applied to law school and
graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in
1984. He and his wife then moved to Washington where he has
since had a private practice in the Seattle area. His wife,
who has a master's degree in history, has spent the last 10
years working as a teacher's assistant at a private
elementary school for gifted children. After leaving active
duty in 1981, Willard continued to serve in the Army
National Guard until 1992 when he was transferred to the
Retired Reserve as a Sergeant First Class.
Smith was a member of the University of San Diego Appellate
Moot Court Board and was a member of the National Order of
Barristers. He is currently a member of the Washington State
Bar Association and the First Marine Division Association.
Smith and his wife, Pamela, currently reside in Bellevue,
Washington. His birth date is November 30, 1947."