B. Smith, known for her modeling career and her television program “B. Smith With Style,” has died after fighting early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. She was 70.
Smith, whose full name was Barbara Smith, was married to Dan Gasby, who shared the news on Facebook on Sunday morning.
“It is with great sadness that my daughter Dana and I announce the passing of my wife, Barbara Elaine Smith,” he wrote. “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.”
Smith began her career as a model before going on to host the syndicated television show “B. Smith With Style,” a half-hour show about home decorating and cooking. She owned three restaurants, all called “B. Smith,” wrote three cookbooks and launched several lines of home goods, including lines at Bed Bath & Beyond, La-Z-Boy and Walmart.
During her journey through Alzheimer’s, Smith came out with a book called Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, And Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s. It was written with husband Dan Gasby and Vanity Faircontributing editor Michael Shnayerson.
While the book is largely a memoir — with Smith and Gasby telling the story of Smith’s diagnosis and gradual decline (she has gone from the mild to the moderate stage since they first went public in mid-2014) — it’s also a call to action, particularly for African Americans.
Being diagnosed in 2010, back in 2014 B. Smith had an Alzheimer’s scare:
An alert has gone out for famed restaurateur and former model Barbara Smith, known as B. Smith, 64, who revealed earlier this year that she’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, has been reported missing on Long Island.
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, affecting an estimated 5.7 million people in the United States, including 1 in 10 over 65, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s disease is irreversible and slowly gets worse as the disease destroys the brain’s memory and thinking skills. There is no cure for this debilitating disease.
“Everyone should be concerned, but African Americans are… twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s, less likely to receive a diagnosis and more likely to be diagnosed in later stages,” says Joanne Pike, vice president of programs for the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago.
Gasby was very humble in thanking Smith’s hospice and caregivers, as well as thanking their fans for their support.
“Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.’s dazzling and unforgettable smile.”