Liz Smith Biography

Writer, Journalist (1923–2017)
Known as 'The Grand Dame of Dish,' Liz Smith was a syndicated American gossip columnist who's career spanned over three decades. She worked for publications such as 'The Daily News,' 'Newsday,' 'The New York Post' and 'Cosmopolitan.'

Who Was Liz Smith?

Liz Smith was a celebrated gossip columnist whose innocuous tales of hobnobbing with the rich and famous attracted millions of readers throughout America. Smith began her column at The Daily News, from 1976 to 1991, before she spent the next fours years at New York Newsday, and later at Newsday. Her longstanding career finished at the New York Post, which lasted until 2009. She died on November 12, 2017 at the age of 94 in New York City.   

Liz Smith Photo

Liz Smith during 'Lotsa de Casha' by Madonna Book Launch Party at Bergdorf Goodman in New York - June 7, 2005.

One of the Premiere Gossip Columnists in the Country

In 1976 Liz Smith began her eponymous gossip column for the New York Daily News, but it wasn't until she had an opportunity to appear as a regular on a local television show that her fame catapulted as the premiere gossip columnist in the Manhattan social scene. 

From chitchatting with Frank Sinatra and Katharine Hepburn at Le Cirque to having dinners with Madonna, Smith had easy access partying, dining and even vacationing with the rich and famous, most likely due to the generous, and at times, promotional nature of their celebrity in her columns. Critics attacked Smith for her lack of objectivity and conflicts of interest, but according to the New York Times, what distinguished her column and brand of gossip was that it offered  an "insider's view."

Although Smith agreed that her critics were justified in their remarks, she tried to keep her position in perspective. "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,” she told the New York Times in 1991.

Some of Smith's career-defining scoops include the 1990 divorce of Donald and Ivana Trump and Madonna's pregnancy in 1996. At one point she was the highest paid print journalist, raking in over $1 million a year. 

Throughout her 33 years as a gossip columnist, she also made television appearances and wrote for publications like the Ladies’ Home Journal, Sports IllustratedVogue and was an entertainment editor for Cosmopolitan

Other Ventures

Smith was an author of two books: a bestselling memoir, Natural Blonde, which was published in 2000, and in 2005, Dishing: Great Dish — and Dishes — From America’s Most Beloved Gossip Columnist, a book that blended celebrity stories with Smith's favorite foods.

Where Was Liz Smith Born? 

Liz Smith was born as Mary Elizabeth Smith in Fort Worth, Texas on February 2, 1923.

Personal Life

Smith married and divorced twice in her life but was later known to carry on relationships with women, most notably archaeologist Iris Love.  

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