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Liz Smith

Though most know her as “The Grand Dame of the Dish” or “Doyenne of Dish,” and an iconic and unparalleled gossip columnist since the 1970s, to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Liz Smith was quite simply a friend. Smith died of natural causes in her home in New York City on Sunday. She was 94.

Smith’s personal and professional focus may have been on celebrity humans, but she always seemed to have a natural affection for dogs.

As seen in this 2017 New York Time article, she was photographed in 1991 with her then-partner Iris and her dog — a delightful Dachshund. Smith is seen wearing a T-shirt that reads “Wag if you love our troops.”

As the 2009 Gawker article “The Fabulous Life of Liz Smith” phrased it, “She loves pets, possibly more than she loves people!”

Her kind mentions of the AKC in her columns over the years were always appreciated; but our most precious memory is the generous time she donated in 2002, when the AKC hosted an auction at Sotheby’s as part of the public art initiative DOGNY, America’s Tribute to Search and Rescue Dogs.

“Liz was a celebrated New Yorker, a genuine dog-lover, and a true friend to the AKC,” said American Kennel Club CEO Dennis Sprung. “She was always willing to help us in our work and frequently attended dog shows. We will miss her warmth, her intelligence, her worldliness and her unwavering devotion to purebred dogs.”