Larry Smith was born in Regina on April 18, 1914, where his father was Livestock Commissioner for Saskatchewan before he died on the battlefield in Passchendaele in 1917. Smith received his DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in 1943 and his PhD from Cornell University in 1955. He was professor and head, Department of Pathology and Bacteriology at OVC before becoming the founding dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan, from 1964 to 1974. Through his leadership and integrity the WCVM quickly became a strong institution. He secured a cost-sharing agreement among the western provinces served by WCVM, the first example of interprovincial cost sharing of post-secondary education in Canada. He was a strong proponent of research and of formal post-graduate education in veterinary medicine. He helped implement CIDA programs in university education in Uganda (1969–70), Malaysia (1974–76), and Somalia (1981–83). He was elected to both the Canadian and Saskatchewan Agricultural Halls of Fame, and received the St. Eloi medal from the College of Veterinary Surgeons of Quebec.