B Smith, restaurateur and model dies at 70

Mark Wood 4

Restaurateur and magazine publisher, author, lifestyle icon, chef, and model, B Smith has died at age 70, her husband said.

B. Smith’s real name is Barbara Elaine Smith. Her husband said in a Facebook post on Saturday night; she has died of complications from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. 

B Smith

Her husband, Gasby, said that it was with great sadness that his daughter Dana and he announced the passing of his wife, Barbara Elaine Smith. Thank them to all the friends and fans who had supported B. and his family during her journey. Thank them to everyone for respecting his privacy during that agonizing time.

He added that Heaven was shining even brighter than that it was graced with B.’s dazzling and unforgettable smile. 

According to her website, B Smith was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2013.

She founded three restaurants and wrote three cookbooks. She also launched a nationally syndicated magazine and television show. B Smith also became the second black model to be on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine. The first one was Joli Jones in 1969.

Some called Smith as a “black Martha Stewart,” a comparison she said she did not mind though she thought the two lifestyle mavens were quite different.

She said in a 1997 interview with New York magazine that Martha Stewart had presented herself doing the things domestics and African Americans had done for years. She was always expected to redo the chairs and use everything in the garden. That was the legacy that he had been left. Martha just got there first.

Gasby also said in the same interview that Martha was perfection, and Barbara was passion. Smith was also suffering from memory problems years before her diagnosis. 

B Smith

In 2018, her husband, Gasby, revealed that he was in a relationship with another woman while caring for his sick wife. He knew it would lead to harsh criticism from some of her fans. He posted on Facebook to answer the critics. In which he said that he loved his wife, but he could not let her take away his life. 

When B Smith knew about her illness, she told CBS in an interview in 2014 that it felt like crying things like what made her very sad.

But she was also determined to promote awareness of Alzheimer’s, particularly for the community of African Americans.

NBC’s Al Roker said on Twitter that he had lost the legendary fashion model, chef, lifestyle icon, restaurateur, and magazine publisher, B Smith that day. Seventy years old, she and her husband, Dan Gasby, had been at the forefront of #alzheimers #research for people of color. Loved to them and daughter, Dana.

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