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Gossip columnist Liz Smith dies at 94

13 November 2017

Liz Smith, the longtime queen of New York's tabloid gossip columns, who for more than three decades chronicled the lives of the rich and the famous, died on Sunday at her home in Manhattan.

"Smith said Trump had called her from a plane about his dissolving marriage, telling Smith, "'I like Ivana, I might get back with her, '" she recounted.

She won an Emmy for her reporting on Live at Five in 1985 and her prolific gossip column was syndicated to almost seventy newspapers and read by millions.

Following a long career in magazine publishing at Cosmopolitan and Sports Illustrated, on the popular series "Candid Camera" and in TV news (she produced Mike Wallace at one time), Smith launched her first gossip column in the New York Daily News in 1976.

Known as the "Dame of Dish", Smith boasted one of the world's most widely read columns for more than a quarter-century and helped usher in an era of celebrity journalism.

Twice divorced, the Texas native came out as bisexual in her 2000 memoir "Natural Blonde" - something she dubbed "gender neutrality", according to the Daily News.

Smith told the New York Times in 2014 that her love of movies began when she was six or seven and that she never wanted to do anything else.

She moved from the Daily News to Newsday in 1991, remaining for four years, then signed with the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post. During my time at WNBC she was nothing short of fabulous. Her columns were sprinkled with notes on books or films, bits of political commentary and opinions about actors, authors and other notables.

Smith raised millions of dollars for charities, including $6 million for Literacy Partners, millions for AIDS charity AmFAR, as well as money for the New York Landmarks Conservancy. "I mean, I am not a reporter operating on life-and-death matters, state secrets, the rise and fall of governments, and I don't believe you can do this kind of job without access".

"Still, I'm having a lot of fun". A memorial service will be held to honor her this spring.

Gossip columnist Liz Smith dies at 94