Famed restaurateur and style maven B. Smith, 64, recently shared with CBS News medical correspondent, Dr. John LaPook, that she has been diagnosed with having Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the successful businesswoman admitted to battling the disease for about four years. “It meant something bad – really bad to me,” Smith told LaPook.
A former model, Smith first recognized signs of a possible health problem when she unknowingly started forgetting to answer questions and repeating herself. In the beginning, she tried to hide it from everyone including her husband Dan Gasby.
The Pittsburg native once hosted a popular half-hour television show, “B. Smith with Style” which featured home décor and cooking segments. Her signature restaurants continue to thrive and she has penned three books: “B. Smith’s Entertaining and Cook for Friends,” “B. Smith’s Rituals and Celebrations,” and “B. Smith Cooks Southern Style.” Smith certainly paved the way, in particular, for African Americans who are now featured on such networks as The Food Network Channel.
The B. Smith with Style Home Collection, which debuted at Bed Bath & Beyond in 2001, is the first line from an African American woman to be sold at a retailer. The collection includes bedding, window treatments, candles, wall art and other home accessories.
Smith’s full CBS News interview can be seen on June 15 on the Sunday Morning program.