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Liz Smith, syndicated gossip columnist, dies at 94

NEW YORK – Gossip columnist Liz Smith, whose mixture of banter, barbs, and bon mots about the glitterati helped her climb the A-list as high as many of the celebrities she covered, has died.

Literary agent Joni Evans told The Associated Press she died in New York on Sunday of natural causes. She was 94.

For more than a quarter-century, Smith’s column — titled “Liz Smith” — was one of the most widely read in the world. Its success was due in part to Smith’s own celebrity status, giving her insider access.

She started her own column at the New York Daily News in 1976. Known as the “Dame of Dish,” Smith helped usher in the era of celebrity journalism in print and television. Her reporting on Donald and Ivana Trump’s divorce made front-page news.