Tonight I was saddened to learn that B. Smith, the former model, restaurateur, and lifestyle guru has Alzheimer’s. She is only 64.

In case you are not familiar with Barbara, or B. as she is called, she was the first African-American woman to appear on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine in 1976. When her modeling career ended, she  became a restaurateur, with establishments in New York City, Sag Harbor, NY, and Washington D.C.

A few years back, I drove to the Union Station eatery to meet with sorority sisters that I hadn’t seen in (ahem) …decades. We chose the iconic restaurant more for its atmosphere than its food. I am glad we went. In 2013, the restaurant shuttered its doors after 20 years in business.

Watching the CBS Evening News was painful as B. unsuccessfully tried to recall the date and year. I have two very close friends whose mothers are either suffering with the condition or have recently succumb to it. The interview with B. and her husband and business partner, Dan Gasby, provided a glimpse into this incurable and cruel disease.

On January 27th, she Tweeted:

B. Smith @BSmithstyle

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Take on whatever is facing you this week with courage, faith and love!

I think she is pretty courageous for facing her illness and sharing her story with all of us. If you’d like to see the complete interview, it will air on “Sunday Morning” on June 15th, Father’s Day.