Image

4:41 PM / Wednesday February 21, 2024

28 Feb 2020

B. Smith, model turned lifestyle guru, dead at 70

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
February 28, 2020 Category: Week In Review Posted by:

In this Jan. 14, 2012 file photo, former model and restaurateur B. Smith arrives at the BET Honors red carpet in the Warner Theatre in Washington. Smith died Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, at her Long Island, New York, home, after battling early onset Alzheimer’s disease, according to a family statement on social media. She was 70. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Model, restaurateur and lifestyle guru Barbara “B.” Smith has died at her Long Island home, her family announced in a statement on social media. She was 70. Smith died last Saturday evening after battling early onset Alzheimer’s disease, which she was diagnosed with in 2013. She and her husband, Dan Gasby, raised awareness of the disease, and particularly its impacts on the African-American community, following her diagnosis.

“Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.’s dazzling and unforgettable smile,” Gasby said in a lengthy Facebook post honoring her life.

Smith wrote three cookbooks, founded three successful restaurants and launched a nationally syndicated television show and a magazine. Her successful home products line was the first from a black woman to be sold at a nationwide retailer when it debuted in 2001 at Bed Bath & Beyond. In 1976, she became the second black model to be on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine, after Joli Jones in 1969.

Some described Smith as a “Black Martha Stewart,” a comparison she said she didn’t mind though she believed the two lifestyle mavens were quite different.

“Martha Stewart has presented herself doing the things domestics and African Americans have done for years,” she said in a 1997 interview with New York magazine. “We were always expected to redo the chairs and use everything in the garden. This is the legacy that I was left. Martha just got there first.” In the same interview, Gasby said, “Martha is perfection and Barbara is passion.”

Smith began suffering from memory problems years before her diagnosis. She once froze for several seconds while being interviewed on the “Today Show,” prompting a doctor’s visit that led to her diagnosis. A few months later, she wandered away and was missing in New York City for a day.

In 2018, Gasby revealed that he was in a relationship with another woman while caring for his ailing wife, leading to harsh criticism from some of her fans. He fired back at critics with a Facebook post about the pain of living with Alzheimer’s in the family. “I love my wife but I can’t let her take away my life,” he wrote. The couple co-authored a book, “Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our fight Against Alzheimer’s,” and have partnered with the Brain Health Registry. Smith, a native of Pennsylvania, began her career as a fashion model in Pittsburgh and went on to serve as a spokeswoman for Verizon, Colgate, Palmolive Oxy and McCormick’s Lawry seasonings. She hosted the nationally syndicated television show “B. Smith with Style” for nearly a decade, which aired on NBC stations. Smith is survived by Gasby, whom she married in 1992, and her stepdaughter, Dana Gasby.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Philly NAACP

Philadelphia NAACP News

February 18, 2024

Tweet Email Tweet Email Related Posts Philadelphia NAACP news as of Feb. 2 Philadelphia NAACP Branch News...

Color Of Money

How to give your business an inviting local flair using design

February 17, 2024

Tweet Email BPT Think of local businesses that feel connected to your community. What comes to mind?...

Health

Four tips to live a more heart-healthy lifestyle

February 17, 2024

Tweet Email BPTIn honor of American Heart Month this February, you can make positive changes to your...

Sports

Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl 2024 

February 12, 2024

Tweet Email The Kansas City Chiefs narrowly beat the San Francisco 49ers, becoming the 2024 Super Bowl champions. The...

Fur Babies Rule!

Bow to Wow! America’s top 10 shelter dog makeovers

February 3, 2024

Tweet Email BPTZen was rescued from a horrendous hoarding case. She arrived at the shelter with mange...

Seniors

Understanding and reducing stroke risks

January 6, 2024

Tweet Email FAMILY FEATURES As the second leading cause of death worldwide, according to World Health Organization,...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff