B. Smith, influential model, TV host, and restaurateur died at 70 after battle with early onset Alzheimer's disease

Evan Agostini/APB. Smith attends the BET Honours in 2009.
  • B. Smith, TV host, model, and entrepreneur died Sunday at age 70, her husband, Dan Gasby, confirmed in a statement obtained by USA Today.
  • Smith had been battling early onset Alzheimer’s disease since 2013.
  • Smith started her career as a model in the 1970s and later went on to host her own talk show and cooking segments, as well as curated a home goods line and opened restaurants in New York and Washington, DC.
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B. Smith, influential model, TV host, and restaurateur, died Sunday at age 70.

Smith was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2013, reports NBC News.

Smith’s husband, Dan Gasby, shared a statement obtained by USA Today, saying: “It is with great sadness that my daughter Dana and I announce the passing of my wife, Barbara Elaine Smith. Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.’s dazzling and unforgettable smile.”

Smith started her career as a model and became the second black model to be on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine in 1976.

GettyImages 55395101Scott Wintrow/Getty ImagesB. Smith at a New York Fashion Week event in 2005.

She hosted her own talk show, “B. Smith With Style,” in the 1990s, which included cooking segments. A YouTube clip of Smith’s series shows the charismatic host cooking soups with actress Eartha Kitt.

Smith also created her own collection of cookware and home decor for Bed Bath and Beyond, which her website says was the first line of home goods by an African-American woman to be sold at a nationwide retailer.

In addition, the TV host owned restaurants in Washington, DC, Manhattan, and Long Island, New York.

In 2016, Smith opened up about her experiences with the disease in a book she co-wrote with her husband, Gasby: “Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s.”

Following the initial news of Smith’s passing, TV hosts and supporters of Smith shared their condolences on Twitter.

Al Roker of the “Today” show wrote: “70 years old, she and her husband, Dan Gasby were at the forefront of Alzheimer’s research for people of colour. Love to them and their daughter, Dana.”

Author and host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” Dr. Mehmet Oz, shared that Smith was “special to many people.”

CNN commentator Keith Boykin wrote: “I only met B. Smith once or twice at her restaurant in New York City. She was beautiful, graceful and welcoming each time. As a model, a TV personality, a business owner and an entrepreneur, she was always a trailblazer.”

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