He was born in 1892 to Mary Aronson (born January 1872) and Louis Smart (born February 1866) in Omaha, Nebraska. His father had emigrated from Russia in 1883. He had four siblings: Alfred Smart (1895-1951), John Smart, Vera Smart Elden (1899-1997), and Florence Smart Richards.
He was born in Omaha, Nebraska on 17 June 1894 and attended the University of Illinois. After World War I, he joined his brother in Publishing Enterprises. He was secretary and treasurer until 1947 when he was appointed president of what was now Esquire, Inc. A third brother, John Smart, was a vice president. Alfred died on February 4, 1951 in Chicago.
^"Esquire - Coronet". Time (magazine). September 20, 1937. Retrieved 2007-07-21. "Marlowe's The Jew of Malta. Last year a Jew of Chicago named David Smart who had made a killing with a depression-born magazine named Esquire launched a miniature version in the same key named Coronet and used Marlowe's famous line as its slogan. Last week Dave Smart made a little room for the public in the infinite riches of his publishing ventures. Having already sold 75,000 shares of stock publicly, he listed all 500,000 shares of Esquire-Coronet Inc. on the New York Curb Exchange."