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Saturday, November 18, 2017
How Queen Of Gossip’s Book Party Launched My Marriage
columnist Liz Smith died at age 94 a few days ago. For 33 years, from 1976-2009, she was the
lead gossip queen for the New York City tabloids. She wrote for the New York Daily News, Newsday, and the New York Post. She
eventually was syndicated nationally to about 75 newspapers. Her passing represents the end of an era, but
more important to me personally, I celebrate the woman who made my engagement
on June 3, 2000 while at a Book Expo America convention in Chicago. I crashed a
Random House party being thrown to celebrate the publication of Natural Blond, the confessional memoir of
the woman known as the Grand Dame of Dish.
attended with colleagues from work. I
was just a year into the company, the same one I’m with now (Planned Television
Arts, since renamed MEDIA CONNECT). One
of my co-workers, Amy, had a sister who was the head of marketing for Random
House Audiobooks. Her name is Laura.
met the woman I would marry two years later and have been with ever since. I never saw Liz Smith again but I felt she
was connected to our relationship. On
Thanksgiving Day, 2001, just a few months after the horrific events of
September 11, I proposed to Laura in front of her entire family.
wrote to Liz Smith the next day in a personal letter, telling her she was there
when I met my special someone. I guess
the woman who covered celebrities for a living found it pleasing to hear. She was in the room when two ordinary people
found love and she ended up writing about us in her column.
it was, in black and white, read by millions of people: “When I was promoting
my memoir in Chicago, at least a year ago, in attendance were Brian Feinblum
and Laura Rosenthal. Both worked in book
promotion. At the party, these two met
and now they are blaming me for the fact that they fell in love, and are
engaged. Call me Cupid.”
comments were laced between gossip on Brad Pitt, Jenifer Aniston and Michelle
framed the article and hung it up in our house.
we got married we invited her to the wedding. She didn’t attend but she did
send a wonderful crystal bowl that we’ve used on special occasions.
passing saddened us but it made us fondly recall the day we had met. To review her career would be the subject of
a book. She covered Marlon Brando, Madonna, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra,
Barbra Streisand, and every bold-face name from the second half of the 20th
also served for 11 years on NY’s popular TV show, NBC’s Live at Five, where
she won an Emmy for her gossip reporting.
of her biggest stories was the Donald Trump-Ivana Trump divorce. Trump hated Smith so much that he reportedly
tried to buy the newspaper she worked for so he could fire her.
to be out-scooped, she came out as being bisexual in her memoir, despite having
been married twice to men. At one point
she earned over one million dollars annually, exceeding the pay of any columnist
or executive editor of her day. She
became almost as popular as those she covered.
had an interesting career, penning books, working for Mike Wallace at CBS Radio, writing for Cosmopolitan, Parade, Vogue, Sports
Illustrated, and Ladies' Home Journal. She used to develop ideas for TV’s Candid Camera, and later appeared on E! Entertainment Television.
I’m so happy your event brought me together with my wife of 15 years. You were outstanding in practicing your
profession. May all those people, whom you covered
and knew, gossip about you
The All-New 2018 Toolkit to Promote a Book -- 7th annual