Legendary gossip columnist and journalist Liz Smith, known as the Grande Dame of Dish, passed away of natural causes on Sunday at the age of 94. Smith kicked off her 33-year-long career in celebrity gossip when she launched her self-titled column in the New York Daily News in 1976. Her column would later go on to run in Newsday and the New York Post, and at one point was syndicated by as many as 70 other newspapers. In addition to her gossip career, Smith was an author, magazine writer, and one-time entertainment editor for Cosmopolitan and Sports Illustrated. The Manhattan society staple also took her talents to WNBC’s Live at Five, winning an Emmy for her reporting in 1985. When Smith, a confidante of Ivana Trump, covered the Trumps’ impending 1992 divorce for months on end, Donald Trump famously threatened to buy the Daily News just to fire her.
In a New York profile published in 2008, Smith said of her career: “The thing about people who last long enough to make a real impact like I have is that you finally have to learn to live with the image you’ve created. It’s your legend. You don’t have to agree with everything said about you, but you can’t really quarrel with the cumulative thing.”