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B. Smith, model turned restaurateur and lifestyle maven, dies at 70

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B.Smith dies at 70

Barbara “B.” Smith, a steelworker’s daughter who became one of the top black models on magazine covers in the 1970s and later parlayed her glamour and personality into ventures as a restaurateur, TV host and lifestyle maven, died Feb. 22 at her home in East Hampton, N.Y. She was 70.

Her death was announced in a statement by her family. Ms. Smith was diagnosed in 2013 with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and closed her restaurants — in Manhattan, on Long Island and at Union Station in Washington — over the next two years. She went on to champion Alzheimer’s research with her husband and caretaker, Dan Gasby, with whom she published a 2016 book, “Before I Forget.”

Ms. Smith — she shortened her first name to the initial “B.” during her modeling career — was widely regarded as a leading African American entrepreneur in fields that had long been unwelcoming to minorities.


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