Liz Smith, Grand Dame of Dish, Dead at 94

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Liz Smith, longtime NYC gossip columnist who chronicled Trump divorce, dead at 94

Liz Smith, the legendary NY gossip writer, died Sunday at age 94.

Literary agent Joni Evans told The Associated Press she died in NY on Sunday of natural causes.

In a melancholy profile published in the New York Times earlier this year, Smith lamented the changing landscape of celebrity journalism. "Liz passed away at the age of 94 and with her, a piece of NY". This exposure on television enhanced her status - she became a popular staple on the Manhattan social scene, which served to provide more material for her column, by this point in syndication in more than 70 newspapers.

She landed her own column at the Daily News in the mid-1970s and her career took off.

Smith was New York's most revered gossip writer. He added that "a piece (of) New York" has passed away with her.

In July, Smith granted her final major interview, to The New York Times. "I don't say what (I am) because I have never known, and I have switched around a lot", she said.

Smith ultimately wrote for nine NY newspapers and dozens of magazines, but it was a stint writing for Cosmopolitan that led to her break. "During my time at WNBC she was nothing short fabulous". She dished, but always found a way to make it entertaining and fun. She soon relocated to NY, where she worked as a typist, proofreader and reporter before working as a news producer for Mike Wallace at CBS Radio. Throughout her life she raised $37 million for Literacy Partners, helping 27,000 people learn to read.

Her reporting on the divorce of Donald and Ivana Trump made front page news around the world and led to a deal with Newsday that made her the highest paid columnist in the country, according to her obituary.

She appeared on a variety of documentaries about celebrities including 2007's "A Tribute to Peter Bart: Newhouse Mirror Award", centering on the former editor-in-chief of Variety; Smith also played herself on TV series including "The Nanny", "Murphy Brown" and "The Roseanne Show".

In her 2000 memoir "Natural Blonde", Smith, who had been married twice before, came out as bisexual, which she called "gender neutrality".

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