Entrepreneur and lifestyle guru B. Smith has died.
Dan Gasby, Smith’s husband, announced the sad news on Sunday morning.
“B. died peacefully Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 10:50 pm, of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in our home in Long Island, New York. She was 70,” Gasby wrote on the couple’s Facebook page. He requested privacy and thanked staffers at East End Hospice for taking care of his wife.
“Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.’s dazzling and unforgettable smile,” he wrote.
Smith, born Barbara Elaine Smith, wore many hats during her time in the limelight. She began her career as a fashion model who became the first Black woman to grace the cover of Mademoiselle magazine in 1976, according to her website.
She went on to host the nationally syndicated “B.Smith with Style,” and opened three eponymous restaurants in New York and Washington D.C., as reported by TMZ. Smith also created a line of merchandise for Bed, Bath and Beyond. It was the first line created by a Black woman to be sold at a national retailer.The Pennsylvania native was also an accomplished author. She married Gasby, her second husband, in 1992.
In 2014, Smith was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 64. She released her last book, “Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s,” in 2016. The title was co-written by Gasby. The couple was open about the struggles accompanying the disease.
“I think the future’s going to be fine,” Smith told CBS in 2014. “I’m going to do my best to make it work out for me and for as many people that I can possibly help, too.”
“Watching your best friend and wife struggle with everyday things—things most of us never think twice about—is wrenching,” Gasby admitted to Brain & Life in November 2017.
Smith and Gasby never had any children together but she helped him raise his daughter Dana.
This is a developing story.