Barbara Elaine Smith, also known as B. Smith has died. B. Smith was a renaissance woman. Smith started her modeling career with Ebony Fashion Fair, and was the first Black model to be featured on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine in 1976. She was a restaurateur, an author and a Lifestyle guru. The Pennsylvania native took full advantage of her God given gifts. Her most recent book was one she wrote with her husband Dan Gasby in 2016 called Before I Forget, detailing her struggles with Alzheimers.
Her husband made the announcement of her passing via instagram.
“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 posted.
Smith went public with her disease in July of 2014. There was some controversy surrounding the fact that Gasby started a relationship with another woman while taking care of his ailing wife whom he has been married to for 27 years.
Gasby went public with the relationship and suffered backlash. Gasby went public with the relationship and suffered backlash. In an interview with Al Roker on Today, Gasby said that Smith insisted he make the relationship public.
“Because that’s what Barbara asked me to do, to talk about it,” he said. “It spun out of control to ‘I’m having an affair. This woman, because of who she is, is taking B’s money. We’re abusing B. B wouldn’t want this.’ These people have never even talked to B.” said Gasby
Smith will be best remembered for her show B. Smith With Style that debuted in 1997. Always the picture of style and grace Smith would share tips for home decor and recipes. The show aired for a decade on NBC stations in more than 90% of U.S. households and in 40 countries. Smith was a Lifestyle pioneer. She had a talent for decor and her first home collection debuted and Bed Bath and Beyond in 2001. Her line, named The B. Smith with Style Home Collection was the first line by an African American Woman to be sold with retailers nationwide.
Smith leaves behind her husband and her step daughter Dana.
Stream “Speak Life” by Precise below