A writer who became one of the country’s most famous gossip columnists, earning the nickname “the Grand Dame of Dish,” has died. The New York Daily News reports that Liz Smith, who wrote a column for the paper from 1976 to 1991, died Sunday in New York.
Smith, 94, reportedly died of natural causes.
Smith’s many scoops included her coverage of “the front-page divorce between a real estate mogul named Donald Trump and his first wife, Ivana,” the Daily News reports. “Not only did Smith spend three months covering the public split, but she also took sides.”
Smith wrote of Ivana Trump at the time: “She still wants to be his wife. But the bottom line is, she won’t give up her self-respect to do it.
“Intimates say she had every chance to continue being Mrs. Trump by allowing her husband to live in an open marriage.”
Donald Trump was reportedly unhappy with the coverage, with The New York Times reporting earlier this year that Trump once threatened to buy the Daily News so he could fire Smith.
“Known as the ‘Grand Dame of Dish,’ Smith graduated from the University of Texas and moved to the city with two suitcases and $50 in her pocket,” the Daily News reports. “She began her journalism career as a CBS Radio news producer for Mike Wallace before starting as a ghost writer for the Hearst gossip column Cholly Knickerbocker in the late 1950s.”
Smith also worked for Cosmopolitan and Sports Illustrated before landing at the Daily News.