On Saturday, Feb. 23, 2020, Barbara “B” Smith passed away due to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 70. She died in her home in Long Island, New York.
Smith was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 24, 1949.
She had an array of jobs throughout her vastly talented years. She was a spokesperson for companies like Colgate, a model – she was the second African-American model to be on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine. She wrote three books on cooking and entertaining. She also ran three restaurants in New York City, Sag Harbor, and in Washington, D.C.
She was also an actress who had parts in “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” “The Cosby Mysteries,” and “Santorini Blue.”
In 2001 she became the first African-American woman to sell products to Bed Bath & Beyond.
She ran her businesses until she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2013.
Early-onset Alzheimer’s is a rare form of the disease that affects 5-6 percent of people who develop it. If 4 million people have Alzheimer’s disease, then about 200,000 to 240,000 people had it before they turned 65.
She was married to Donald Anderson from 1986 to 1992.
She married her widower, Dan Gasby, on Dec. 23, 1992.
She is survived by Gasby, her step-daughter, and the rest of her family and friends. May she rest in peace.
By Sheena Robertson
Mayo Clinic: Early-onset Alzheimer’s: When symptoms begin before age 65
IMDM: B. Smith Biography
CNN: B. Smith, restaurateur and cookbook author, has died
ABC: Model, author, restaurateur B. Smith dies of early onset Alzheimer’s disease at 70
NBC: B. Smith, celebrated restaurateur and model, dies at age 70
Image Courtesy of Don Graham’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License