Dr. Robert Shaw Smith, 64, the medical director of the Labor Department and a surgeon in the Washington area for 30 years, died Saturday at Sibley Memorial Hospital following a heart attack.
Dr. Smith was born in Ogden, Utah, and grew up there. He graduated from the Idaho State University in Pocatello in 1939 with a bachelor's degree and a doctorate in pharmacology. He then entered the George Washington University medical school and graduated in 1943.
He did his internship at the old Emergency Hospital, now part of Washington Hospital Center, and his residency at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. He was a fellow in surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and remained there until 1948, when he returned to Washington and established a private practice.
Dr. Smith was a founder and chairman of the tumor board at Doctors Hospital in Washington. He also was a founder of the Colostomy and Ileostomy Club, which is made up of patients who have undergone colostomies and ileostomies.
In 1978, Dr. Smith became medical director of the Department of Labor, a position he held until his death.
He was a member of the American Medical Association, the Pan-American Medical Society, the Washington Academy of Surgery and the D.C. Medical Society. He also was active in the American Cancer Society. He was a member of the board of Doctors Hospital.
He received distinguished service awards from Children's and Suburban hospitals.
Survivors include his wife, Clarice Olson Smith of Potomac; two sons, Robert Shaw Jr. of Annapolis and Gregory Olson of Potomac, and two grandsons.