B. Smith, who announced earlier this year that she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, was found in a New York City diner Wednesday after being reported missing Tuesday night.
Smith, whose full name is Barbara Smith, was last seen at about 8 p.m. Tuesday on Southampton, Long Island. According to media reports, Smith was last seen exiting the jitney from New York City.
ABC News reports that Smith, 65, got off in Sag Harbor and eventually got back on the bus heading back to New York City. She was recognized by a patron at La Parisienne Coffee House at 7th Avenue and 57th Street who notified authorities.
Smith’s husband and business partner, Dan Gasby, reported her missing when she failed to return home. Smith is a groundbreaking model who was one of the first African-Americans to appear on the cover of Mademoiselle.
But her career did not end there. Smith launched successful restaurants and eventually created a lifestyle brand that spanned everything from media to housewares. Smith grew her brand as she became known for being an expert on good food, style and living well.
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s came as a surprise to Gasby and Smith because she’s considered young to have the disease.
“Shock,” Gasby told CBS in a June interview when asked how he felt when Smith was diagnosed.
“I mean, she’s got the blood pressure of an athlete. You know, she’s 64 years old. I mean, she can wear a bikini,” he added. “And you curse God. You get angry. You say, ‘Well, how could this happen?’”
Smith wanted to use her diagnosis to bring more attention to Alzheimer’s disease. The former model said she was going to make the best of her situation.
“Even with Alzheimer’s, I think that things are gonna work out,” she said. “I’m gonna do my best to make it work out for me, and for as many people that I can possibly help, too.”
Gasby said Smith has never wandered off before.