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Robert Freeman Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Freeman Smith
Robert Freeman Smith.jpg
Chair of the House Agriculture Committee
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 1999
Preceded byPat Roberts
Succeeded byLarry Combest
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 1999
Preceded byWes Cooley
Succeeded byGreg Walden
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1995
Preceded byDenny Smith
Succeeded byWes Cooley
52nd Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives
In office
Preceded byF. F. Montgomery
Succeeded byRichard O. Eymann
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
from the 26th district
In office
Preceded byClinton P. Haight, Jr.
Succeeded byDenny Jones
Personal details
Born(1931-06-16)June 16, 1931
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
DiedSeptember 21, 2020(2020-09-21) (aged 89)
Medford, Oregon, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Kaye Elizabeth Tomlinson
(m. 1966)
EducationWillamette University (BS)

Robert Freeman Smith (June 16, 1931 – September 21, 2020), commonly known as Bob Smith, was an American Republican politician who represented Oregon in the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 1995 and from 1997 to 1999.

Early life and education

Smith was born in Portland, Oregon, and grew up in Burns, Oregon. His father, Benjamin F. Smith, was a doctor.[1] He attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, graduating in 1953 with a bachelor's degree in agriculture. He worked as a rancher until his election to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1960.[2]


Smith with George H. W. Bush in 1988
Smith with George H. W. Bush in 1988

Smith served in the state House until he retired in 1972 to return to his ranch. He was Speaker of the House for the 1969 and 1971 sessions.[3] Between 1965 and 1969, Smith was the president of the Oregon Public Land Commission.[2]

Smith was a United States Congressman from Oregon's 2nd congressional district from 1983 to 1995. After a brief retirement, he returned to Congress in 1997.[2] Wes Cooley, the Republican who had succeeded Smith in the House, had been caught in several lies about his military service and Smith was persuaded to come out of retirement.[4] Upon his return, he was elected chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, but only served one term before retiring for good.[2]

Personal life

On February 19, 1966, Smith married Kaye Elizabeth Tomlinson in Salem.[1] Her father was the clerk of Marion County.[5] The wedding was attended by F. F. Montgomery, the Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, among others.[1] By January 1971, Smith and his wife had two sons and a daughter.[5]

Car accident

On February 8, 2016, Smith struck and killed a pedestrian while driving in Medford, Oregon. The pedestrian was in the crosswalk when Smith hit him with his car and he later died at the scene. Smith did not flee the scene, was cooperative with investigators, and was determined to not be under the influence of intoxicants at the time of the accident. No charges or citations were filed against him regarding the accident.[6]


Smith died on September 21, 2020, in Medford, Oregon at the age of 89.[7]


  1. ^ a b c "Kaye Tomlinson and Robert F. Smith Wed at Church Nuptials". Statesman Journal. Salem, Oregon. February 20, 1966. p. 17. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "SMITH, Robert Freeman | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives". Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  3. ^ Oregon Blue Book: Earliest Authorities in Oregon - Speakers of the House of Representatives of Oregon. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved on June 9, 2008.
  4. ^ Fattig, Paul (March 1998). "Former congressman, felon Cooley may run for office again". Mail Tribune. Medford, Oregon.
  5. ^ a b Maudlin, Gene (January 28, 1971). "House Speaker Smith Not Conservative or Liberal". The Capital Journal. p. 23. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  6. ^ Jaquiss, Nigel (February 9, 2016). "Former Oregon Congressman Bob Smith Fatally Injured a Pedestrian". Willamette Week. Retrieved July 3, 2019.; "Former U.S. Rep. Bob Smith kills pedestrian in Medford". The Oregonian. February 9, 2016. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  7. ^ Ramakrishnan, Jayati (September 21, 2020). "Former Oregon Congressman Bob Smith Dies at 89". Retrieved September 21, 2020.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Denny Smith
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Wes Cooley
Preceded by
Wes Cooley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Greg Walden
Political offices
Preceded by
Pat Roberts
Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee
Succeeded by
Larry Combest
This page was last edited on 5 October 2020, at 23:57
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