June 30: One of canmaking’s greatest advocates, William J Smith Snr, died last week aged 81.
He was most recently chairman and chief executive of DS Containers, the Illinois-based manufacturer of innovative polymer-coated aerosol cans.
A veteran of more than half a century in the packaging industry, he was in his third career, having twice retired from top jobs.
After first retiring from America National Can where he was running its $1 billion paper business, he set up US Can in 1982, building it into a leading aerosol can manufacturer in the US and Europe with sales of more than $800m, before retiring again in 1998 to become an advisor to Japan’s Daiwa Can which led to the creation of DS Containers.

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