Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith has died in New York at the age of 94. With the reported cause of death is natural causes, her death was confirmed by her literary agent, Joni Evans, according to Deadline.
Smith started her career with a journalism degree
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, under the name Mary Elizabeth Smith, she would go on to graduate with the University of Texas at Austin in 1949 with a degree in journalism. Her first job was for the Daily Texan. She would start writing an anonymous gossip column in the 1950s.
She gained more exposure with television
Smith originally wrote under her own name for the New York Daily News in 1976. Eventually, she was hired to appear in daily segments on the Live at Five newscasts, a position she retained for 11 years. She even won an Emmy for her work in 1985. Her television exposure would eventually bring about syndication in more than 70 newspapers, according to Variety. She eventually moved to Newsday in 1991, where she stayed for four years, eventually moving on to the New York Post, where she remained until 2009.
‘That would have been against my principles’
During her work, Smith stuck to an air of professionalism. As she once explained when asked if she paid for her stories, “I could have. But that would have been against my principles. The only thing I ever negotiated for money was covering Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding to Larry Fortensky at Neverland Ranch. They said, ‘No press.’ And I said, ‘I’ll give all the money to AIDS charities.’ So they let me come, and boy, that was an experience.”