Sean Smith (diplomat)

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Sean Smith
Sean Smith Diplomat.jpg
Born(1978-01-30)January 30, 1978[1]
DiedSeptember 11, 2012(2012-09-11) (aged 34)
Benghazi, Libya
Cause of deathTerrorism
OccupationInformation Management Officer
Years active2002–2012
EmployerUnited States Foreign Service
Known forVictim of the U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi
Moderator of Something Awful Forums[2]
Former member of the Council of Stellar Management in the MMO Eve Online
SpouseHeather Smith
Military career
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of the Air Force.svg United States Air Force
Years of service1995–2002
RankE5 USAF SSGT.svg Staff Sergeant

Sean Patrick Smith (January 30, 1978[1] – September 11, 2012) was an American diplomat and information management officer with the United States Foreign Service who was killed during the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.[3]

Life and work[edit]

Smith was an only child and grew up in the Clairemont neighborhood of San Diego, California. He graduated from Mission Bay High School in 1995, enlisted in the United States Air Force in July 1995 and served for six years. He was a ground radio maintenance (2E1X3) specialist and was promoted to staff sergeant in August 2000. He completed his military service in 2002. As a Foreign Service employee, he lived in The Hague, Netherlands, with his wife, Heather, and children, Samantha and Nathan.[4][5]

Smith was a leading player and member of the Council of Stellar Management in the Eve Online gaming community (under the username "Vile rat") and was a moderator on the Something Awful forums (username "Vilerat").[6][7][8]

Death and legacy[edit]

Smith was one of four Americans killed in the Benghazi attack. He was posthumously awarded the U.S. Department of State's Thomas Jefferson Star for Foreign Service on May 3, 2013.[9] On the day of his death, Smith typed a message to the director of his Eve Online gaming corporation that read, "Assuming we don't die tonight. We saw one of our 'police' that guard the compound taking pictures."[5]

Spontaneous reactions from the Eve Online player base included a mass renaming of outposts throughout its universe.[10] The game's Council of Stellar Management published a tribute to Smith two days after his death.[11] Zack Parsons on the Something Awful forums organized a benefit for Smith's family, raising US$127,000.[9][12]

The movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi was filmed in honor of those who died in the attack. Smith was played by actor Christopher Dingli.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gaudiosi, John (September 12, 2012). "Online Gamer Sean 'Vile Rat' Smith Killed in Libyan Attack". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 12, 2012.
  2. ^ "Something Awful Forums, Debate & Discussion".
  3. ^ Clinton, Hillary Rodham (September 12, 2012). "Statement on the Death of American Personnel in Benghazi, Libya" (Press release). U.S. Department of State. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  4. ^ Max, Nathan (September 17, 2012). "San Diegan slain in Libya attack 'lived to serve'". U-T San Diego. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Beckhusen, Robert (September 12, 2012). "Diplomat Killed in Libya Told Fellow Gamers: Hope I 'Don't Die Tonight'". Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  6. ^ Nuwer, Rachel (September 12, 2012). "US Official Killed in Libya Mourned by Online Gaming Community". Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  7. ^ Davies, Marsh (September 12, 2012). "EVE Online top player was US official killed in Libya". PC Gamer. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  8. ^ Sarlin, Benjy (September 12, 2012). "News Of Foreign Service Officer's Death Breaks Over Gaming Community". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Totilo, Stephen (April 25, 2013). "The Amazing Life of Sean Smith, the Masterful Eve Gamer Slain in Libya". Kotaku. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  10. ^ "Renamed Stations". Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  11. ^ Heard, Mark (September 13, 2012). "A Tribute to Sean 'Vilerat' Smith". Retrieved December 28, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Benefit for Sean Smith's Family". Retrieved November 1, 2013.