E. E. Smith - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Robert A. Heinlein and Dr. Smith were friends. Heinlein reported that E.E. Smith perhaps took his "unrealistic" heroes from life, citing as an example the extreme competence of the hero of Spacehounds of IPC. He reported that E.E. Smith was a large, blond, athletic, very intelligent, very gallant man, married to a remarkably beautiful, intelligent red-haired woman named MacDougal (thus perhaps the prototypes of 'Kimball Kinnison' and 'Clarissa MacDougal'). In one of Heinlein's books, he reports that he began to suspect Smith might be a sort of "superman" when he asked Dr. Smith for help in purchasing a car. Smith tested the car by driving it on a back road at illegally high speeds with their heads pressed tightly against the roof columns to listen for chassis squeaks by bone conduction—a process apparently improvised on the spot.