<font color="#808080">SMITH, Daniel</font>

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DANIEL SMITH
(
1954 - )

Dan Smith's career may have gotten off to a slow start, but once he got on a roll, he took it all the way.

Dan was born on August 15, 1954, in Mankato, Minnesota. His father raised and trained quarter horses, but Dan's interests ran more along the artistic vein. However, one of his high school art instructors dampened his enthusiasm when he told the class that the only two ways of making a living in art was to either teach or paint portraits in shopping malls.

Somewhat discouraged, Dan left Minnesota right after high school and went to Arizona where he worked in an automotive - speed shop customizing high-performance engines. After a year, he decided that the only real direction his life could take was art. He returned to Minnesota and enrolled in Mankato State University. A year later, he entered what is now known as Mankato Technical Institute where he received training as a commercial artist.

At age 21, he married Elizabeth Heintz, a pretty, young woman whom he had met while attending college. Both had difficulty adjusting to the give and take of married life, and at the end of two years, they decided that divorce was the only sensible move.

For the next four years, they dated frequently, matured, and realized that they really did love each other. They remarried and now are the proud parents of Danielle, Adam, and Nichole.

Dan's appearance is that of an athlete. Surprisingly, all through high school, he never tipped the scales at over 140 pounds and did not participate in sports. After he finished school and was holding a steady job as a commercial illustrator, he made up his mind to change all that. He began lifting weights. Five years later, he competed in the Mr. Minnesota contest and walked away with trophies for the best chest and most muscular, both very competitive categories.

Dan freely admits that he didn't take a career too seriously until he was 25. At that point, he committed himself to his art and "getting his act together." The harder he worked, the better things became. Then in 1983, he won the Minnesota Pheasant stamp contest. It proved to be a sleeper and sold four times the number of prints as anyone expected. Dan was off and running.

Dan's interest in automobiles began before he was old enough to drive, and it has not waned. He currently drives a Porsche 944 turbo, but confesses to thoughts of owning a Ferrari. He also has one eye open for a classic Corvette, circa1953 to 1955.

Dan's other hobby is fishing, and Alaska is high on his list. His plans for the future are to travel to Africa and Alaska for research and to fish . . . and fish . . . and fish.














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