Liz Smith Questions and Answers
Liz Smith (journalist)
Mary Elizabeth Smith (February 2, 1923 – November 12, 2017) was an American gossip columnist. She was known as “The Grand Dame of Dish.” During her career, she wrote columns for New York Daily News, The Washington Post and Cosmopolitan. She worked exclusively with Fox Broadcasting Company with Roger Ailes. From 1995 through 2005, Smith worked with Newsday.
Early life and career
Smith was born in Fort Worth, Texas. She married her college sweetheart, George Edward Beeman, a World War IIbombardier, in 1945 but left him to enroll at the University of Texas, where her papers and memorabilia are kept in the Dolph Briscoe Center. They divorced two years later.
Smith graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in journalism in 1949, where she wrote for The Daily Texan and The Texas Ranger. She later moved to New York where she worked as a typist, a proofreader and a reporter before she broke into the media world as a news producer for Mike Wallace at CBS Radio. She spent five years as a news producer for NBC-TV. She also worked for Allen Funt on Candid Camera.
In the late 1950’s Smith worked as a ghostwriter for the popular “Cholly Knickerbocker” gossip column that appeared in the Hearst newspapers. After leaving that column in the early 1960s she went to work for Helen Gurley Brown as the entertainment editor for the American version of Cosmopolitan magazine, later working simultaneously as Sports Illustrated‘s entertainment editor as well.
In 1957, she married Fred Lister, but the couple would divorce in 1962.