Legendary New York Gossip Columnist Liz Smith, Dead at 94

Liz Smith, shown with Richard Nixon and Jeanne Kirkpatrick was 94

Liz Smith, shown with Richard Nixon and Jeanne Kirkpatrick was 94

Liz Smith, the gossip columnist who for decades shaped NY society and the celebrities it created, has died at the age of 94. Beyond her work in print, Smith began a show called "Live at Five" on WNBC-TV, which ran for 11 years and won an Emmy in 1985. "Liz passed away at the age of 94 and with her, a piece NY", said weather anchor Al Roker on Twitter. At the height of her career, Smith grew to become one of the most highly paid columnists of all time, and her column was syndicated in almost 70 newspapers.

Smith wrote at the time: "She still wants to be his wife".

At one point Smith was hired by Fox to develop a talkshow that Roger Ailes would produce.

Known affectionately as the "the Grand Dame of Dish", Smith's legendary work included a chronicle of Donald and Ivana Trump's divorce, which made front-page news. She was later poached by Newsday and was paid $500,000 to leave the Daily. "But I don't know what to do about it".

Born in Fort Worth, Texas during prohibition, Smith graduated from the University of Texas in 1949 with a degree in journalism and, a year after, moved to the Big Apple.

Smith started out writing the anonymous Cholly Knickerbocker gossip column in the 1950s for the Hearst papers.

In the early 90s Smith herself was subject to the kind of targeted gossip she herself never indulged in; Michelangelo Signorile, a founding editor of Outweek, wrote a series of columns demanding that Smith come out of the closet.

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 think that my relationships with women were always much more emotionally satisfying and comfortable (than with men)", she told The Advocate that year.

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