Photo by Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

Former model, restauranteur, author and television host B. Smith passed away in her Long Island, NY home on Saturday. She was 70.

Smith's husband, Dan Gasby announced her death in an Instagram post on Sunday.

"It is with great sadness that my daughter Dana and I announce the passing of my wife, Barbara Elaine Smith. B. died peacefully Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 10:50 pm, of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in our home in Long Island, New York. She was 70.

Thank you to Dr. Sam Gandy, East End Hospice and additional caregivers who helped us make B. comfortable in her final days. Thank you to all the friends and fans who supported B. and our family during her journey. Thank you to everyone for respecting our privacy during this agonizing time.

Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.'s dazzling and unforgettable smile. -Dan Gasby

Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

Smith was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in 2013. She announced her diagnosis in 2016 to help raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding the disease.

Smith was only the second Black model to grace the cover of Mademoiselle magazine.

After retiring from modeling, she opened three successful restaurants and published several best-selling cookbooks.

Smith launched her own home goods line at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and she hosted a half-hour television show, B. Smith With Style.

Karsten Moran/ Washington Post via Getty Images

Gasby, 65, a former executive producer for the Essence Awards, sparked outrage when he moved his girlfriend, Alex Lerner (left), into the East Hampton, NY home he shared with his ailing wife.

Smith's fans dragged Gasby on social media. He defended his unorthodox living arrangement in several interviews and in social media posts.
 
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In an exclusive PEOPLE interview published in January 2014, Gasby said his wife's diagnosis was "the toughest thing I've ever dealt with."