While his exact date of birth isn’t known, Adam Smith’s baptism was recorded on June 5, 1723 in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. His father, Adam Smith Sr., died just two months after his birth.
He began his education with a private tutor at home before attending the Burgh School of Kirkcaldy, where he spent eight years.
Smith entered the University of Glasgow at the age of 14. He studied Latin, Greek, Logic, Moral Philosophy, Mathematics, and Natural Philosophy.
Smith began delivering public lectures at the University of Edinburgh under the patronage of Lord Kames.
Smith was appointed the Professor of Logic at Glasgow University before changing to the position of Chair of Moral Philosophy.
Adam Smith published his first work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which closely examined the moral thinking of his time.
Smith accepted a tutoring post to the 3rd Duke of Buccleuch which involved a two-year tour of Europe. He met key figures of the French Enlightenment.
After returning home to Kirkcaldy, he completed work on The Wealth of Nations. He investigated the roles of productivity, division of labor, and free markets.
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations was published in five volumes. It was influential in its time, and became a fundamental work in classical economics.
Smith relocated to Edinburgh where he resided in Panmure House. He became one of the founding members of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Smith was awarded his final academic position as Lord Rector of Glasgow University.
Adam Smith died at his home in Edinburgh.