November 20, 2017
Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith dies at 94
NEW YORK CITY - Liz Smith, the legendary gossip writer, died of natural causes in New York Sunday.

Known as the “Grand Dame of Dish,” Smith graduated from the University of Texas and moved to New York with two suitcases and $50 in her pocket.

She began her journalism career as a CBS Radio news producer for Mike Wallace before starting as a ghostwriter for the Hearst gossip column Cholly Knickerbocker in the late 1950s.

Smith moved on to work for Cosmopolitan and Sports Illustrated in the ‘60s, then began a self-titled column at the New York Daily News in 1976. Eventually, her column became syndicated in almost 70 newspapers as she made famous friends from Elizabeth Taylor to Marlon Brando.

Among her most famous work was covering the high-profile divorce between then-real estate mogul Donald Trump and wife Ivana. She spent three months covering the public split, during which she openly sided with Ivana.

“I think that my relationships with women were always much more emotionally satisfying and comfortable (than with men)," she told The Advocate that year. "And a lot of my relationships with men were more flirtatious and adversarial. I just never felt I was wife material. I always felt that I was a great girlfriend.”

For all of her scoops and speculation, Smith said she never forgot what she was doing. “We mustn’t take ourselves too seriously in this world of gossip,” Smith told the Associated Press in 1987. “When you look at it realistically, what I do is pretty insignificant. Still, I’m having a lot of fun.”

Smith is survived by several nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held for her in the spring.

"I was fortunate enough to work with the amazing Liz Smith," tweeted Al Roker. "During my time at WNBC she was nothing short fabulous. Liz passed away at the age of 94 and with her, a piece New York."
Story Date: November 18, 2017
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