Anthony Smith CBE (1938-2021)

“He was a brilliant fundraiser. In business he would have made a fortune, but that was not his game.” 

Anthony Smith CBE (1938-2021) was in countless ways a hugely gifted and prestigious man. A Research Fellow at St Antony’s from 1971-76, he was also a good friend to the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre in the mid-late-2000s, when the Khodorkovsky Foundation, which he set up and chaired, supplied vital funding for the refurbishment of the RESC Library.

For a full appreciation of his fascinating life, please see this obituary in the Guardian of 24 December 2021:

NB A personal anecdote: I only met Tony Smith infrequently, but swiftly ascertained that he was a friendly, charming and witty character. When I was introduced to him, I was involved in some very hands-on preparations for the RESC library refurb, down in the dirty subterranean depths of what my predecessor Jackie called ‘The Black Holes’. Little did I know that Mr Smith was hotfoot from Magdalen, and (as former President of that college), from a lunch in extremely illustrious company. I apologized for my sweaty and scruffy appearance: ‘Sorry I’m looking rather untidy – I’ve just been moving books in the stack’. His reply? ‘Sorry I’m looking rather smart – I’ve just been having lunch with the Queen’.

Richard Ramage

Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre

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