Barbara “B.” Smith, a model and prominent restaurateur, television host, and lifestyle pundit, died on Saturday at age 70 after battling Alzheimer’s disease since 2013. Her husband, Dan Gasby, said in a Facebook post that Smith died in their East Hampton, New York, home. “Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.’s dazzling and unforgettable smile,” Gasby said. Smith emerged as one of the leading black models in the 1907s after signing with the Wilhelmina agency in New York. She later hosted the syndicated television show B. Smith With Style in the 1990s, securing herself as a lifestyle, home decorating, and cooking expert. “Martha Stewart has presented herself doing the things domestics and African Americans have done for years,” Smith told New York magazine in 1997. “We were always expected to redo the chairs and use everything in the garden. This is the legacy that I was left. Martha just got there first.”
Smith went on to publish three cookbooks and opened three restaurants—in Manhattan, Long Island, and Union Station in Washington, D.C.—all of which she named “B. Smith.” She was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2013 and later published a book with her husband in 2016 titled Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, And Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s.