Windland Smith Rice

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Sandra Windland "Wendy" Smith Rice (1970–2005) was an American photographer well known for her work in nature and animals.


Rice was the first child of Frederick W. Smith, founder of FedEx. FedEx's first plane in 1973 was named Wendy after her.

She graduated from St. Mary's Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee and studied drama at Duke University. She pursued an acting career in Hollywood; she had two minor movie roles and two roles television episodes over a span of about three years.

She was married to Jeffrey Scott Rice, a business executive. They had two sons, Mason Frederick Rice and Alden James Rice.

Rice became an accomplished nature photographer, completing commissions for organizations such as Fujifilm, the National Geographic Society, and Nature's Best Photography magazine. Her work won several awards and has been exhibited in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The annual Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards are named after her. She was known for her encouragement of other photographers.

Her interest in working with wildlife was exemplified by her membership on the board of the Earthfire Institute, an organization "dedicated to protecting wildlife by creating a bridge between humans, and animals in the wild," by rescuing animals that can no longer live in the wild.[1]

Windland Smith Rice died of Long QT Syndrome Type 2. The Mayo Clinic has opened the Windland Smith Rice Sudden Death Genomics Laboratory to study this and similar diseases.

Following Windland Smith Rice's death, her sister, Molly Smith, produced the film P.S. I Love You, which she dedicated to Windland Smith Rice.

A portfolio of Rice's nature pictures of Yellowstone are featured in the Memphis Zoo's Teton Trek.

Windland Smith Rice's Widower Jeffery Scott Rice has since remarried.