Wallace Eugene Smith was born on September 8, 1971, to Eugene and Mabel Smith at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Wallace was an only child.
His mother told him many times about the day he was born. Mabel and Eugene had been waiting to see the news on TV about this crazy man who was going to attempt to jump the Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho, in something called the Skycycle, which the news called an unguided missile. Mabel’s baby wasn’t due for another two weeks, but she was having contractions early and had to leave for the hospital. They listened to the radio all the way to the hospital. Knievel didn’t make across the river, but Wallace made his debut into the world.
Wallace’s parents adored their son and anything that Wallace wanted as a child that they could afford, they got it for him. They were totally thrilled with Wallace and because of their cheerfulness, Wallace was the same way. He was very friendly with everyone, but he didn’t forget those who he felt had slighted him in any way. He held grudges against those people. But he had many friends all through elementary school and then in high school.
He didn’t have an easy time in school and had to put in a lot of extra time studying to get promoted each year. When he graduated, he decided he wanted to become a doctor, so after earning his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Southern Mississippi, he enrolled in the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson.
While attending classes one day, he met Veronica Sherman. He asked her out a few times and she finally accepted. He fell in love with her, and when Veronica learned she was pregnant in 2001, they married on August 8, that same year. Their daughter Haley was born on January 10, 2002. While Haley was still an infant, Veronica filed for divorce because Wallace was drinking too much. Veronica said she couldn’t stand the sight of him like that and had fallen out of love with him.
Wallace barely eked through medical school, even with Veronica’s help and he didn’t pass the licensing exams, so he decided to go into pharmaceutical sales instead. He was hired by Hawthorn Pharmaceuticals in Madison, Mississippi. After he was there a while, he was transferred to New York. He had to travel around a lot and couldn’t see Haley as much as he would have liked. She was the center of his life and still is.
After the divorce, Wallace continued with his drinking and eventually was arrested for public intoxication. Veronica used that as a legitimate reason to file for sole custody of their daughter, and though it took a while, she was given full custody.
Veronica was remarried in 2006 to George O’Connor, and in 2009 she filed a petition to terminate Wallace’s parental rights because she wanted George to adopt Haley.
Wallace has never remarried and has never found anyone he loved as much as he loved Veronica. He lives alone and spends so much time traveling that he hasn’t been able to make a lasting relationship.
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