One of the nation’s top models, restaurateur, and lifestyle guru Barbara Elaine Smith(popularly known as B. Smith) who went on to launch restaurants and successful home products line and lifestyle maven died on 22 Feb 2020. She died after a seven years battle with Alzheimer’s disease at her Long Island home in New York at the age of 70. Her family announced on social media that she died Saturday evening.
Dan Gasby, Smith’s husband, stated on Facebook that “Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.Smith’s dazzling and unforgettable smile.” Smith wrote three cookbooks, established three successful restaurants, a weekly half-hour syndicated show on TV, and a magazine. Her victorious home goods line was the first from a black woman to sell at a nationwide retailer when it launched in 2001 at Bed Bath and Beyond.
B. Smith became the second black model for Mademoiselle magazine in 1976, after Joli Jones in 1969. But was the first African-American model to feature on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine.
The elegance. The grace. The style. May God rest and bless her soul. #BSmith was one-of-a-kind.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 23, 2020
Some related Smith to black Martha Stewart and she stated that she did not mind, though, as she believed the two lifestyle mavens were quite different. ” “Martha Stewart has handed over herself doing the things African Americans and domestics have done for years,” she said in an interview with New York magazine in 1997. “We were always expected to redo the chairs and use everything in the garden, it is the legacy that she left, and Martha just got there first. In the same interview, Gasby, Smith’s husband, said: “Barbara is passion and Martha is perfection.”
B. Smith Diagnosis for Alzheimer’s
Smith started suffering from memory problems long before her diagnosis. Once, she froze for a few seconds while being interviewed on the “Today Show,” prompting a doctor’s stay, which led to her diagnosis. After a few months, she wandered away and was missing from New York City for a day.
In 2018, Gasby said that he was in a relationship with another woman but didn’t stop caring for his ailing wife. This led to harsh criticism from some of Smith’s fans. On a Facebook post, Gasby fired back at critics about the pain of living with Alzheimer’s in the family. He also said, “even though how much I love my wife, I can’t let her take away my life,” he wrote in the post. The couple wrote a book titled “Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in our fight against Alzheimer’s.” The couple has also partnered with Brain Health Registry.
It is with great sadness that my daughter Dana and I announce the passing of my wife, Barbara Elaine Smith.B. died…
B. Smith is a native of Pennsylvania and began her career as a fashion model in Pittsburg. Then she went on to serve as a spokeswoman for Colgate, Verizon, McCormick’s seasonings, and Palmolive Oxy. She also hosted the nationally syndicated TV show “B.Smith with Style,” for almost a decade that aired on NBC channels.