CBCF Mourns the Passing of Entrepreneur, Restaurateur and Friend, B. Smith

February 24, 2020                                                                                          

CJ Epps

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) issued the following statement on the passing of Barbara Elaine Smith, better known as “B. Smith”:

The CBCF mourns the loss of restaurateur, author, and former fashion model, B. Smith. Over the weekend, she succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease at age 70.

Smith began her career as a model participating in the Ebony Fashion Fair and became the first African American model to be featured on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine. She went on to appear on multiple television programs and in an off-Broadway play. Smith also hosted a syndicated television program, ‘B. Smith With Style’, and authored three books.

The first B. Smith restaurant opened in New York City in 1986. Two additional locations followed in Long Island and Washington, DC.

Smith was a host for the Celebration of Leadership in the Fine Arts program during CBCF’s Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) and also served as an ALC presenter and regular attendee of the Phoenix Awards dinner. A number of CBCF events were held at the B. Smith location at Union Station in Washington, DC.

Photos: “B. Smith’s Top Chef: A Delicious Demonstration of Healthy Cooking on a Diet” presentation at the 2008 CBCF Annual Legislative Conference

“B. Smith was a friend to CBCF,” said Tonya Veasey, CBCF’s interim president and CEO. “She enthusiastically supported our Leadership Institute’s Congressional Internship Program as well as the Annual Legislative Conference. We honor her numerous contributions to American life and the global black community. She will be greatly missed and we send our deepest condolences to her family and loved ones.”

Established in 1976, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) is a non-partisan, nonprofit, public policy, research and educational institute committed to advancing the global black community by developing leaders, informing policy and educating the public. For more information, visit

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