B. Smith, the groundbreaking lifestyle guru, restaurateur, author and former model, died on Saturday (Feb. 22) from early on-set Alzheimer’s disease. She was 70.
Smith’s husband, Dan Gasby, announced her death via Facebook on Sunday (Feb. 23). “It is with great sadness that my daughter, Dana, and I announce the passing of my wife, Barbara Elaine Smith,” the statement reads. “B died peacefully Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 10:50 p.m., of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in our home in Long Island, New York.”
Barbara Elaine Smith was born in Everson, Penn., on Aug. 24, 1949. Smith began her modeling career in the 1960s working for Ebony Fashion Fair and later signing with Wilhelmina Models. Smith covered 15 magazines during her modeling days, including becoming the first Black model to cover Mademoiselle magazine in 1976. Additionally, Smith appeared in TV commercials for Mercedes-Benz, and worked as a spokesperson for Verizon, Colgate, Palmolive, and more.
Smith opened her first of multiple restaurants in New York City’s theater district in 1986. She also opened restaurants in Long Island, N.Y. and Washington D.C.
For nearly a decade, Smith hosted the nationally syndicated show, B. Smith with Style, captivating audiences with her bright personality and unforgettable smile. Smith also produced multiple specials for TV One and was bestselling author. Her signature tagline, “Whatever you do, do it with style,” was featured at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.