Ron Smith is a fifth generation Kansan, an attorney, a grandfather several times over, a Vietnam veteran, and a civil war historian. Territorial Kansas, the Civil War, and the post-Civil War west are his writing subjects. Some of his writing uses a pen name, Dean Halliday Smith.
He served on Gov. John Carlin's staff in 1979-80 and then lobbied for various commercial interests for twenty years in the Kansas legislature. He now is a partner in the Larned, Kansas, law firm of Smith and Burnett, LLC, and lives close to historic Ft. Larned, one of the best preserved frontier cavalry forts in the National Park system. His law office in Larned is located near where the historic Santa Fe Trail converged on the "Pawnee Fork" on the wet route of the SFT.
In 1969, he was originally assigned as a machine gunner on a PBR in the Mekong River delta, he finished his service in Vietnam as a Navy photojournalist. He graduated from Kansas Wesleyan in 1973 and Washburn Law School in 1976. After practicing law in Great Bend, Kansas, then returned to Topeka as Deputy Secretary of Administration for Governor Carlin. From 1985 to 1999 he was general counsel of the Kansas Bar Association. Prior to joining the Larned law firm in 2005, he served as counsel for the Community Development division of the Kansas Department of Commerce.
In 2012 he was President of the Southwest Kansas Bar Association, and remains on its board of directors. He is also a director of the Santa Fe Trail Center museum, and a past president of the Larned Rotary Club and a member of the Western Writers Association of America.
He is married to Kahrmellesarah, and lives on a small farm. His law practice is featured at the law firm's website.