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Posted: November 13, 2017

Famed tabloid gossip columnist, Liz Smith, dead at 94

Gossip columnist and writer Liz Smith leaves an event in New York in August of 2009. Smith, a gossip columnist whose mixture of banter, barbs, and bon mots about the glitterati helped her climb the A-list as high as many of the celebrities she covered, has died. She was 94.
Stephen Chernin/AP
Gossip columnist and writer Liz Smith leaves an event in New York in August of 2009. Smith, a gossip columnist whose mixture of banter, barbs, and bon mots about the glitterati helped her climb the A-list as high as many of the celebrities she covered, has died. She was 94.

By Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NEW YORK —

She was the last of her kind. Liz Smith, a longtime New York gossip columnist, died Sunday at her home in Manhattan at the age of 94, her agent confirmed to The New York Times.

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Smith was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1923 and graduated from the University of Texas before heading to New York, where she made it big in the Big Apple.

Smith, who started work as a gossip columnist for the New York Journal-American in 1959,  was often friends with many of the famous and glamorous people she covered, including Madonna, Frank Sinatra, Donald and Ivanka Trump and Katherine Hepburn, sparking some controversy from journalists over the years.

Her legendary gossip predecessors included Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper, in Hollywood, and Water Winchell, in New York.

Smith spent more than 30 years writing daily gossip columns, writing books and magazine stories and appearing on TV news and entertainment programs.

>> Related: Liz Smith dead: Why gossip queen told us she was ‘overpaid, overfed’

From 1976 until 1991, her column called “Liz Smith” ran in The Daily News and in New York Newsday from 1991 until 1995, according to the NYT. Her column continued in Newsday until 2005 and in the New York Post from 1995 until 2009, and she was syndicated in up to 70 newspapers, too.

Smith regularly earned more than $1 million a year -- more than any other newspaper columnist or executive editor, the NYT reported.

>> Related: John Hillerman, beloved ‘Magnum, P.I.’ star, dead at 84

Smith was married once and divorced and leaves behind no children.


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