B. Smith, model turned lifestyle guru, dead at 70

In this Jan. 14, 2012 file photo, former model and restaurateur B. Smith arrives at the BET Honors red carpet in the Warner Theatre in Washington. Smith died Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, at her Long Island, New York, home, after battling early onset Alzheimer's disease, according to a family statement on social media. She was 70. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Model, restaurateur and lifestyle guru Barbara “B.” Smith has died at her Long Island home, her family announced in a statement on social media. She was 70.

Smith died Saturday evening after battling early onset Alzheimer’s disease, which she was diagnosed with in 2013.

She and her husband, Dan Gasby, have worked to raise awareness of the disease and particularly its impacts on the African-American community.

Gasby said “heaven is shining even brighter now” in a lengthy Facebook post honoring her life.

Smith began her career as a fashion model and went on to host a lifestyle television show, develop a line of home decor products and author food and entertainment books.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.