- 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.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
B. Smith, influential model, TV host, and restaurateur, died Sunday at age 70.
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.
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.”
We lost legendary fashion model, chef, restaurateur, lifestyle icon and magazine publisher, B Smith today. 70 years old, she and her husband, Dan Gasby were at the forefront of #alzheimers #research for people of color. Love to them and daughter, Dana. #bsmithwithstyle pic.twitter.com/pqFOpa9oxs
— Al Roker (@alroker) February 23, 2020
Author and host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” Dr. Mehmet Oz, shared that Smith was “special to many people.”
RIP B. Smith. ❤️ My thoughts & prayers are with her family. B. was special to many people — I’m honored to have spent time with her. B.’s fight with Alzheimer’s was one far too many face, but she approached it with a spirit that made her light shine bright. (IG: thankyoudan) pic.twitter.com/L01V4oS1lj
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) February 23, 2020
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.”
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.
May she rest in peace. https://t.co/YqyxUZKMrB
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) February 23, 2020
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.