B. Smith: Celebrated Restaurateur and Model Dies at 70

Barbara Elaine Smith, known by many as B. Smith, the celebrated restaurateur and model died Saturday from early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She was 70.

News of the trailblazer’s death (Smith was one of the first black models to be featured on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine in 1976) was shared by her husband, Dan Gasby, who announced it on his Facebook page Sunday. Smith passed away at their home in Long Island, New York.

“Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.’s dazzling and unforgettable smile,” Gasby wrote.

 

Image: B. Smith in New York in the 1990s
B. Smith in New York in the 1990s.Anthony Barboza / Getty Images file

 

Smith started her career as a model in the 60s. Along with her groundbreaking Mademoiselle cover, she continued to model for other major magazines like Ebony and Essence. She eventually became a lifestyle guru as an “accomplished chef, restaurateur, and author. Her nationally syndicated talk show, B. Smith With Style, ran in the mid-90s.

Smith’s line of home goods was sold in Bed, Bath & Beyond, making it the first line by an African American woman to be sold at a nationwide retailer, according to her website.

Numerous tributes poured in for Smith, who was known as a “Renaissance woman” that paved the way and created opportunities for other black women.

 

By BSM Team

Feature photo: Getty Images

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