Restaurateur & Former Model B. Smith Reveals Battle With Alzheimer’s Disease

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More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and former model B. Smith recently revealed that she’s one of them.

The 64-year-old restaurant owner opened up about her story with CBS News. When asked what her diagnosis meant to her, Smith said, “It meant something bad — really bad to me.” During the interview, she could not recall the date, month or year. “Things like that make me very sad,” she shared.

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Barbara Smith, often known as the Black Martha Stewart, was one of the first Black models on the cover of Mademoiselle. Along with work as a designer and decorator, she opened her first B. Smith restaurant in New York City in 1986.

Despite the severity of her disease, the entrepreneur said she’s optimistic about the future and taking it day by day with her hubby and business partner of 22 years Dan Gasby.

“I think the future’s going to be fine,” she said. “I’m going to do my best to make it work out for me, and for as many people that I can possibly help, too.”

As we reported earlier, B. said goodbye to the East Coast and relocated to a warmer climate earlier this year. Along with the move, she closed the New York location of her restaurant. That decision came just one year after shutting down her Washington D.C. location.

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“There’s a difference between quitting and knowing when to quit,” Gasby said in an April interview. “There is nothing noble about being old in the cold. I’m 60. My wife will be 65. We had a great run for 17 years in Sag Harbor.”

“Every time you wake up, you have something to worry about at the restaurant…I don’t want to be ‘13 Years a Slave,’” he added. “You realize it’s very important that you enjoy life to the fullest.”

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