Al Roker, Ava DuVernay and More Stars Pay Tribute to B. Smith: 'She Fought the Good Fight'

B. Smith died at age 70 following a years-long battle with Alzheimer's disease

B. Smith
Photo: Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Celebrities are paying tribute to the life and legacy of B. Smith.

After news of Smith’s death on Saturday at age 70, her many friends and fans shared tributes on social media in honor of the late restaurateur and lifestyle guru.

“We lost legendary fashion model, chef, restaurateur, lifestyle icon and magazine publisher, B Smith today. 70 years old, she and her husband, Dan Gasby were at the forefront of #alzheimers #research for people of color. Love to them and daughter, Dana. #bsmithwithstyle,” Al Roker wrote along with a photo on Twitter of him and Smith.

“The elegance. The grace. The style. May God rest and bless her soul. #BSmith was one-of-a-kind,” director Ava DuVernay shared.

Tamron Hall retweeted a post about Smith from reporter Audrey Washington who wrote, “She broke down barriers. She shined. She fought the good fight. Rest In Peace, B. Smith. #BSmith.”

“All of these things so true. Thank you B. Smith,” Hall shared.

Dr. Oz also shared a post in honor of Smith. “RIP B. Smith. My thoughts & prayers are with her family. B. was special to many people — I’m honored to have spent time with her. B.’s fight with Alzheimer’s was one far too many face, but she approached it with a spirit that made her light shine bright.”

Roker’s wife and Good Morning America co-host Deborah Roberts wrote on Twitter of Smith, “Saddened to learn of the passing of a friend and icon, B Smith. The first black model to grace the cover of one of the mainstream fashion mags, she was a restaurateur and a force. RIP.”

Smith’s husband Dan Gasby confirmed her death on Sunday in an emotional message shared on social media.

“It is with great sadness that my daughter Dana and I announce the passing of my wife, Barbara Elaine Smith,” Gasby said. “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,” he added, before thanking all of the caregivers “who helped us make B. comfortable in her final days.”

Gasby added: “Thank you to all the friends and fans who supported B. and our family during her journey. Thank you to everyone for respecting our privacy during this agonizing time. Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.’s dazzling and unforgettable smile.”

B.Smith, Dan Gasby
B.Smith and Dan Gasby. Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Smith was diagnosed with the debilitating disease in 2013 after Gasby noticed she was becoming increasingly moody and forgetful.

“It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever dealt with,” Gasby, a TV producer, previously told PEOPLE in 2016. “Anybody who is an Alzheimer’s care giver knows exactly what other caregivers are going through. It’s 24/7. The complexity and the intensity of it is very tough.”

Her diagnosis came while she was still in the midst of building her empire. She opened three eponymous restaurants, penned three cookbooks and hosted the nationally syndicated show, B. Smith With Style. She was also one of the first African American women to grace the cover of Mademoiselle magazine.

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