Gabriela Herstik
November 13, 2017 11:10 am

If you’ve ever read a gossip column or obsessed over the latest celebrity news, then you probably know who Liz Smith is — even without realizing it. Smith was a gossip columnist who passed away yesterday at the age of 94, and basically Carrie Bradshaw if Bradshaw discussed celebrity instead of sex. Also called “the Grand Dame of Dish,” the Texas native revealed glamorous details behind the lives of the rich and famous, and became so successful that her life rivaled those she wrote about.

Liz’s career started when she began her “Cholly Knickerbocker” gossip column for Hearts Magazines in the 1950s, which would launch her career for the next 50 years. After a few other magazine stints, Liz ended up writing a column under her own name for the New York Daily News in 1976. A few years later, during a newspaper strike, she ended up on television with her own segment, which ran for 11 years. By this time, Liz’s column was being syndicated by over 70 newspapers. The thing about “Liz Smith” was that it wasn’t the sort of gossip column that continuously tore everyone down. Instead, it offered an unfiltered peek into the lives of celebrities, while helping them remain human.

In an interview with The New York Times in 1991, Liz said,

"It's a form of entertainment. I think that knowing things that aren't drastically important but that are entertaining or amusing is also a real tool of power, in that if you believe that knowledge is power, then even that kind of small knowledge is power...I don't have to be pure and I'm not. I mean, 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."

John Lamparski/ Getty

Next time we give a gossip column a go, we’ll be thinking about Liz. We’re sending all our love to this amazing woman’s family and friends.

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