Dorothy Smith was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended San Francisco State University . In the late 60's, she “tuned in, turned on, and dropped out” of San Francisco State.
Dorothy moved across the bay to Berkeley and became involved in various political activities and other mischief. By a very circuitous route, she found herself in Yellow Springs in the late 70's, right up the road from Wright State . She completed her B.A. in Anthropology at Wright State in 1979 and then went on to get her M.A. in History in 1981.
Dorothy worked as an archivist in the Special Collections at the Wright State University Dunbar Library for 15 years, then took a position at the American Jewish Archives at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati where she currently works.
She was an adjunct professor at Wright State from 1987-96 in the Graduate Program in Public History and is currently an adjunct professor at Wilmington College - Cincinnati teaching The Civil War Era.