He was born in the Waituhi valley, married Julia Keelan, and worked as a farmer, tribal elder and Wi Pere Estate trustee.
- Growing up Māori. Ed. Witi Ihimaera. Auckland, N.Z.: Tandem, 1998. 64.
- "Eldest Son." Growing up Māori. Ed. Witi Ihimaera. Auckland, N.Z.: Tandem, 1998. 64-71.
- Ihimaera, Witi. "Smiler, Te Haa O Ruhia Ihimaera." Gisborne Herald 18 Sept. 2010. http://www.gisborneherald.co.nz/article/?id=19451
- "Tairawhiti Identity Tom Smiler Dies at 95." http://www.waatea603am.co.nz/News/2010/September/Tairawhiti-identity-Tom-Smiler-Dies/default.aspx