|NET WORTH:||$18.2 Million|
|Source of Wealth:||Businesswoman, Restaurateur, Model, Author, Television host|
|Born:||August 24, 1949|
|Died:||February 22, 2020|
|Birth Name:||Barbara Elaine Smith|
|Height:||5ft. 6 in.(1.68m)|
B Smith was an American businesswoman, restaurateur, model, author, and a television host. She was known as the first African-American model to be featured on the cover of the women’s magazine “Mademoiselle” in the year 1976, and also for her famous Manhattan restaurant.
Barbara Elaine Smith was born on August 24, 1949 in Everson, Pennsylvania. Her parents was Florence and William Smith. Florence worked as a maid, while William was a steelworker. Smith grew up in Scottdale, Pennsylvania. She attended Southmoreland High School in East Huntingdon, Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and graduated in the year 1967.
After she graduated in high school, she modeled for some department stores in Pittsburgh and earned a job as a ground hostess with TWA. in 1969, Smith won a place at the Ebony Fashion Fair.
Smith started her career in modeling in the late 1960s. After she placed in the Ebony Fashion Fair, she signed a contract with the Wilhelmina Models agency, and became the first African-American to be featured as the cover model for the magazine Mademoiselle.
Smith has also appeared on the educational children’s television series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. In 1997, her weekly half-hour syndicated television show “B. Smith With Style”, debuted and was aired in weekdays on BTN and Bounce TV.
Smith opened her first restaurant in the year 1986, on Eight Avenue at 47th Street in New York City. Her first branch was followed by another one in Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York City. In 2001, her first home collection “Bed, Bath & Beyond” was launched, for she always had a thing for interior decorating and restaurant design. In 2004, Smith has also launched her line of serveware, and her first furniture collection in 2010.
Because of the success of her restaurants, she wrote books on home entertaining: B. Smith’s Entertaining and Cooking for Friends (1995), and B. Smith’s Rituals and Celebrations (1999). In 2009, she wrote the cookbook B Smith Cooks Southern Style.
From 1986 to 1990, Smith was married to first husband Donald Anderson, former HBO executive. Later in 1992, she married Dan Gasby, an executive producer of the Essence Awards and senior vice president of marketing at Camelot Entertainment Sales Inc. Smith then became a stepmother to Gasby’s daughter, Dana Gasby.
In her late 50s, she started showing first signs of Alzheimer’s disease, and on June 2014, Smith disclosed that she had been diagnosed with an early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. In 2016, Smith and Gasby released a book entitled, Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s, that talks about her journey in handling her diagnoses of early-onset Alzheimer’s. On February 22, 2020, at the age of 70, Smith died of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
With her successful career as a businesswoman, and her other ventures, Smith earned an estimated net worth of $18.2 million, until her last day.