In this special episode, we’re remembering StoryCorps participant Wil Smith, who recorded two interviews with his daughter, Olivia.

Wil was 27 when he enrolled as a freshman at Bowdoin College in Maine in 1996, after serving in the Navy. But his age wasn’t the only thing that set him apart from his classmates — Wil arrived with his infant daughter, Olivia, in tow.


Just before recording their first interview, Wil was diagnosed with colon cancer. He and Olivia returned for a second conversation to talk about his treatment, and the role she played in caring for him.

Wil died on February 22, 2015, at the age of 46.

Episode released March 6, 2015.

Wil and Olivia on Wil’s graduation day. Courtesy of the Smith Family.