Born in a small town in Connecticut, Carlyle H. Smith made up his mind at a young age to become a jeweler. As a boy, he liked to look in the window of the local jewelry store to see the gleam of the metal and the colors of the stones. He later apprenticed under master jeweler Augustus Rose. Smith, who taught for thirty years, is recognized for shaping the jewelry and silversmithing program at the University of Kansas, the first state university in the United States to offer such a program. Graduates of this program include Bob Ebendorf, Richard Mawdsley, and John Satterfield.