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Gossip queen Liz Smith dies at 94

By KATE FELDMAN

New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Liz Smith, the legendary New York gossip writer, died of natural causes in New York Sunday at age 94.

Known as the “Grand Dame of Dish,” Smith graduated from the University of Texas and moved to New York with two suitcases and $50 in her pocket.

She began her journalism career as a CBS Radio news producer for Mike Wallace before starting as a ghostwriter for the Hearst gossip column Cholly Knickerbocker in the late 1950s.

Smith moved on to work for Cosmopolitan and Sports Illustrated in the 1960s, then began a self-titled column at the New York Daily News in 1976.

Eventually, her column became syndicated in almost 70 newspapers as she made famous friends from Elizabeth Taylor to Marlon Brando.

Among her most famous work was covering the high-profile divorce between then-real estate mogul Donald Trump and wife Ivana. She spent three months covering the public split, during which she openly sided with Ivana.

“She still wants to be his wife. But the bottom line is, she won’t give up her self-respect to do it,” Smith wrote at the time.

“Intimates say she had every chance to continue being Mrs. Trump by allowing her husband to live in an open marriage.”

Trump once offered to buy the Daily News just to fire Smith, The New York Times reported earlier this year.

Her “Live at Five” show on WNBC lasted 11 years, during which she won an Emmy for reporting in 1985.

After leaving the Daily News in 1991, Smith jumped to several local newspapers, including Newsday and the New York Post.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

 

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