Liz Smith, Legendary Gossip Columnist, Dies at 94

Columnist chronicled the goings-on of notable New Yorkers for decades

Liz Smith

Liz Smith, the legendary gossip columnist who detailed New York goings-on for decades, died Sunday, NBC New York reports. She was 94.

Smith’s column was syndicated to nearly 70 newspapers and is credited with helping to bring forth the era of celebrity journalism.

Literary agent Joni Evans told the Associated Press that Smith died of natural causes in New York.

Often referred to as the Dame of Dish, Smith wrote her eponymous column for more than two decades, beginning her run as a columnist at the New York Daily News. Smith’s coverage of the divorce between Donald and Ivana Trump helped push the columnist onto the front pages of newspapers.

Smith’s column ran in the Daily News from 1976 to 1991, moving to New York Newsday in 1991 until that paper folded in 1995. She then continued on to Newsday until 2005. The column also ran in the New York Post from 1995 to 2009, the New York Times reports.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1923, Smith studied journalism at the University of Texas before moving to New York in 1949, the Times reported. She landed a series of jobs at publications including Modern Science magazine and Newsweek.

Smith also developed ideas for the hidden-camera television series “Candid Camera,” as well as writing for magazines ranging from Ladies’ Home Journal, Vogue and Sports Illustrated.

Smith was married twice, to George E. Beeman and, later, to travel agent Fred Lister, with both marriages ending in divorce. Smith also lived with archaeologist Iris Love for many years, the Times noted.

Smith, whose books included the 2000 memoir “Natural Blonde,” left no immediate survivors, according to the Times.

Smith was also known for her charitable work, raising millions for organizations including Literacy Partners, AmFAR and New York Landmarks Conservancy.