The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) issued the following statement on the passing of Barbara Elaine Smith, better known as “B. Smith”:
The CBCF mourns the loss of restaurateur, author, and former fashion model, B. Smith. Over the weekend, she succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease at age 70.
Smith began her career as a model participating in the Ebony Fashion Fair and became the first African American model to be featured on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine. She went on to appear on multiple television programs and in an off-Broadway play. Smith also hosted a syndicated television program, ‘B. Smith With Style’, and authored three books.
The first B. Smith restaurant opened in New York City in 1986. Two additional locations followed in Long Island and Washington, DC.
Smith was a host for the Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts program during CBCF’s Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) and also served as an ALC presenter and regular attendee of the Phoenix Awards dinner. A number of CBCF events were held at the B. Smith location at Union Station in Washington, DC.