Salon 14

Barbara Elaine Smith

August 24, 1949 ~ February 22, 2020 (age 70)


Barbara Elaine “B.” Smith, age 70, passed away peacefully at her home in New York City, on February 22, 2020. She is the daughter of the late William and Florence (Claybrook) Smith.

Barbara was born in Everson, Pennsylvania, on August 24, 1949. She began her distinguished career as a ground-breaking fashion model, gracing the covers of 15 magazines and becoming one of the first Black women on the cover of Mademoiselle in July 1976.  She owned three B. Smith restaurants in New York and Washington, DC. For decades, Barbara hosted the nationally syndicated/cable television show B. Smith with Style and made frequent appearances on popular national morning shows. Her flair for décor, demonstrated in the ambiance of her restaurants, led to the development of the B. Smith with Style Home Collection, which is the first line from a Black woman to be sold at a nationwide retailer.  Barbara was also the first Black woman with a national lifestyle magazine, B. Smith Style, and she authored several books. She is a multiple award-winning recipient across a wide range of fields who is dearly loved by many.  

In 2013, at the age of 64, she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. She and her husband worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the disease and its effect on the African-American community in particular.

In addition to her parents, Barbara was preceded in death by her brother, Gary Smith.  She is survived by her husband, Dan Gasby; stepdaughter, Dana Gasby; two brothers, Ronald Smith and Dennis Smith; a nephew, Ronald Smith Jr.; four nieces, Danyel Lantz, Leslie Smith, Lauren-Michelle Smith, and Karlye Snowden; two sisters-in-law, L. Denise Smith and Lois Smith (Lois has since passed away June 21, 2021), and a host of extended relatives.

The family will hold a private graveside service on Saturday, July 24, 2021 in the Scottdale Cemetery, next to her parents.

Funeral arrangements for Barbara, have been entrusted to the Frank Kapr Funeral Home Inc. of Scottdale.

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