Professor Ernest Smalley was a character that appeared in the short story The Reign of the Superman. The character acted as the antagonist to the story, though both he and the main protagonist, the titular character, were both villainous.
Ernest Smalley's past is not clear, although it is known that he was born to rich parents, and thus did not actually have to go through the rigors of life, and thus made him unsympathetic to the poor and downtrodden. He eventually found a meteor, and intended to use it in experiments where he would ultimately gain power.
Needing a guinea pig, he then stood at a bread-line to observe the vagrants, even though he did not sympathize with their plight in the slightest. He eventually, after giving up his search in despair, settled on a particular vagrant, Bill Dunn, and hired him to be a guinea pig under the promise of a hot meal, telling him his job is "purely humanitarian."
After Bill Dunn became Superman from exposure to the rock, Smalley reappeared to fight Superman for his powers. However, he ultimately ended up killed by his creation.