Dick Smith (1992)
Award Presented at the Athenaeum, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
Australian businessman, publisher, author and pilot/explorer Dick Smith is the founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Australian Geographic magazine. He is also founder of the Australian Geographic Society and the country's equivalent of Radio Shack. The first helicopter pilot to fly solo around the world, he was also first to make a helicopter flight to the North Pole and, in his Twin Otter plane, first to make a polar circumnavigation of the globe. The instant and continuing success of Australian Geographic has made it possible for Smith to put many millions of dollars into important research on flora, fauna, and geography; adventure; and social causes. He has also served as unpaid Chairman of Australia's Civil Aviation Authority (comparable to the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S.), to which post he was appointed by the Prime Minister.