10 Things You Didn’t Know About Wilbur Smith

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  1. Wilbur Addison Smith (born 9 January 1933[1]) is a British novelist specialising in historical fiction about the international involvement in Southern Africa across four centuries, seen from the viewpoints of both black and white families.
  2. Smith was born in Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia (now Kabwe, Zambia).
  3. His father was a metal worker who opened a sheet metal factory and then bought a cattle ranch. “My father was a tough man”, said Smith.
  4. He spent the first years of his life on his father’s cattle ranch, comprising 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of forest, hills, and savannah.
  5. Smith attended boarding school at Cordwalles Preparatory School in Natal (now Kwa-Zulu Natal).
  6. For high school Smith attended Michaelhouse, a boarding school situated in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
  7. Smith initially worked on his father’s cattle ranch and also served with the Rhodesian Police.
  8. Smith wanted to become a journalist, writing about social conditions in South Africa, but his father’s advice to “get a real job” prompted him to become a tax accountant (chartered accountant).
  9. In 2002, the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities granted Smith the Inaugural Sport Shooting Ambassador Award.
  10. Smith was working for his father when he married his first wife, Anne, in a Presbyterian Church on July 5, 1957, in Harare (Salisbury), Zimbabwe.