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H.D. Smith founder dies at age 87

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. ­— Henry Dale Smith Sr., founder and chairman emeritus of H.D. Smith, the nation’s largest independent drug wholesaler, died at age 87.

“The entire H.D. Smith family is deeply saddened by the loss of our founder and a pioneer in health care distribution,” said Henry Dale Smith Jr., his eldest son and current chairman and chief executive officer of H.D. Smith Holding Co. “Dad’s vision and passion for ensuring that community pharmacies, hospitals and patients are able to access the health products they need, when and how they need them, is what continues to inspire us each day.”

A longtime figure in the Springfield, Ill., community and an entrepreneur in pharmaceutical distribution, Smith founded H.D. Smith in January 1954 with the mission of providing personalized customer service to local pharmacies in the Midwest. A pharmacist by trade, he served as chairman and CEO of H.D. Smith. As the company continued to grow and evolve, two of his four sons, Dale Smith and James Christopher Smith, assumed leadership roles.

For decades, Smith also served as an active member of the National Wholesale Druggists Association, and he was a regular attendee at national and regional meetings.


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