Historian and author Ronald Vivian Smith, also known as RV Smith, died in Delhi on Thursday, The Times of India reported. He was 82 years old. Smith was known for chronicling Delhi, including its by-lanes, streets, bazaars, monuments and graveyards.
He was born in Agra in 1938 and was a descendant of Colonel Salvador Smith (1783-1871) of the Gwalior Army during the British rule in India. After obtaining a masters degree in English Literature, Smith began to write for newspapers from 1956. Later, he worked for the Press Trust of India and The Statesman, Delhi. He retired as a news editor from The Statesman in 1996.
Smith’s main interests were history, antiquity, Egyptology, mysticism and the occult. He used these influences to write haunting accounts of Delhi. He authored a dozen books, mostly on the national Capital.
Smith also wrote a romantic novel, Jasmine Nights & The Taj, a book of ghost stories and two volumes of poetry. He was a recipient of the Canon Holland Prize and the Rotary Award for general knowledge and the journalism award from the Michael Madhusudan Academy in Kolkata (1997-1998).
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal condoled Smith’s death. “RV Smith, the chronicler of our great city Delhi passed away this morning,” he tweeted. “His work kept alive the stories and memories of our city. It’s a huge loss especially for Delhiites. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”