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B. Smith, Model and Restaurateur, Reveals Battle With Alzheimer's Disesase

During her interview with CBS news, the 64-year-old shares that she has been fighting the disease for years.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

B. Smith (nee Barbara Smith) revealed Thursday morning in an interview with CBS News that she has been battling Alzheimer's disease.

The legendary model -- who was one of the first African Americans to appear on the cover of Mademoiselle before opening her own restaurant chain in New York City -- shared how she has been dealing with the illness for years, telling the network's medical correspondent, Dr. Jon LaPook, that being diagnosed with the disease "meant something bad, really bad to me."

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"You do try to hide it from everybody," says Smith, who couldn't remember the day, month or year, during the interview. "Things like that make me very sad," she adds.

Despite the disease, Smith still maintains a positive attitude and outlook.

"I think the future's going to be fine," she says. "I'm going to do my best to make it work out for me, and for as many people that I can possibly help, too."

Watch a clip from the interview below.