Mt. Lebanon Environmental Lawyer Loved History, Rare Books

By DaParma, Ron | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 18, 2007 | Go to article overview

Mt. Lebanon Environmental Lawyer Loved History, Rare Books


DaParma, Ron, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


A true Renaissance man is how family members describe Templeton Smith.

A dedicated family man and accomplished corporate attorney, Smith also found the time to craft finely finished furniture, and pursue such avocations as photography, music, rowing and sailing.

Templeton Smith, 87, of Mt. Lebanon, died Friday, June 15, 2007 in St. Clair Hospital from pneumonia.

"He was a very modest guy, but he seemed to know something about everything," said his son, Templeton Smith Jr., of Mt. Lebanon. "And any time he got into something, he did it full force."

Mr. Smith was born Aug. 19, 1919, in Pittsburgh, to R. Templeton Smith and Eliza Kennedy Smith. He was a lifelong scholar who attended Arnold School in Pittsburgh, and was a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Business School and the Harvard Law School, said his daughter, Eliza Smith Brown, of Squirrel Hill.

His education was interrupted by World War II, when he served as a lieutenant in the Navy.

After the war, Mr. Smith returned to Pittsburgh to pursue his career in law, starting with the Downtown firm of Rose, Eichenauer, Stewart and Rose. It was in 1949 that he joined the law department of Koppers Co. Inc., the Pittsburgh-based company where he worked for 39 years.

"I would say he was really one of the very first environmental lawyers before it was fashionable," his son said. During his time at Koppers, he traveled internationally, helping to pioneer a number of the company's cleanup efforts.

"He always said he was a very lucky guy. He worked with very ethical people. When he told them something was wrong, they would listen to him."

"He traveled to some exotic places for Koppers," said his son. Those included East Germany and Japan, where he once stayed in the emperor's summer palace. …

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