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On Monday (Feb. 24), a public memorial service for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The ceremony honors their lives weeks after a devastating helicopter crash occurred on Jan. 26 in Calabasas, California, that also took the lives of seven other people aboard the aircraft. According to The Washington Post, nearly 20,000 people are slated to attend the service. Ticket sales will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.
The basketball legend's wife and mother of his children, Vanessa Bryant, previously posted a message to her angels on Instagram and said the family will take things one day at a time. "I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved," she wrote. "We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I'm not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it's impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way."
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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️
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To my forever Valentine, I love you so much. Missing you so much on your favorite holiday. Te amo per sempre. Kisses to you and Gigi in heaven. Happy Valentine’s Day, my babies. With all my love, your boo-boo. ❤️song: Tell Him @mslaurynhill
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#2, #24, #20 years as a Laker and the amount of years Kob and I were together ❤️❤️💜💛
Stream the service below.
On Monday morning (Feb. 24), news surfaced of famed mathematician Katherine Johnson's passing at age 101. The pioneer in science and math was memorialized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where she worked in 1953 before retiring in 1986.
"We're saddened by the passing of celebrated #HiddenFigures mathematician Katherine Johnson," the statement reads. "Today, we celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers."
We're saddened by the passing of celebrated #HiddenFigures mathematician Katherine Johnson. Today, we celebrate her 101 years of life and honor her legacy of excellence that broke down racial and social barriers: https://t.co/Tl3tsHAfYB pic.twitter.com/dGiGmEVvAW
— NASA (@NASA) February 24, 2020
Throughout her tenure at NASA, Johnson worked on equations and solutions to aid in successful flight missions. It wasn't until 1962 that her skills placed her in an upper echelon of mathematicians for her work during astronaut John Glenn's orbital mission. The moment was depicted in a book authored by Margot Lee Shetterly titled Hidden Figures. In 2017, a film of the same name was created and broke records for its real-life storytelling.
In an interview with The Guardian, actress Taraji P. Henson who portrayed Johnson onscreen, said upon meeting the legendary figure, she realized how much they had in common. “When I met [Johnson], the way she talked about maths, the way her eyes lit up, that’s how I feel about acting," she said. "I understand her passion; you can replace that with anything.”
Cemented alongside her other achievements, Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama in 2015.
B. Smith, the groundbreaking lifestyle guru, restaurateur, author and former model, died on Saturday (Feb. 22) from early on-set Alzheimer’s disease. She was 70.
Smith’s husband, Dan Gasby, announced her death via Facebook on Sunday (Feb. 23). “It is with great sadness that my daughter, Dana, and I announce the passing of my wife, Barbara Elaine Smith,” the statement reads. “B died peacefully Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 10:50 p.m., of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in our home in Long Island, New York.”
Barbara Elaine Smith was born in Everson, Penn., on Aug. 24, 1949. Smith began her modeling career in the 1960s working for Ebony Fashion Fair and later signing with Wilhelmina Models. Smith covered 15 magazines during her modeling days, including becoming the first Black model to cover Mademoiselle magazine in 1976. Additionally, Smith appeared in TV commercials for Mercedes-Benz, and worked as a spokesperson for Verizon, Colgate, Palmolive, and more.
Smith opened her first of multiple restaurants in New York City’s theater district in 1986. She also opened restaurants in Long Island, N.Y. and Washington D.C.
For nearly a decade, Smith hosted the nationally syndicated show, B. Smith with Style, captivating audiences with her bright personality and unforgettable smile. Smith also produced multiple specials for TV One and was bestselling author. Her signature tagline, “Whatever you do, do it with style,” was featured at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
In 2001, Bed Bath & Beyond debuted the B. Smith Style Home Collection. The collection, which including bedding, doormats and more, made Smith the first Black woman to have a home decor line sold by a national retailer.
Smith publicly revealed her Alzheimer’s diagnosis to CBS News in 2014. During the interview, Smith didn’t shy away from expressing her fears of battling the disease, and admitted that she initially tried to hide it, but she was determined to persevering in spite of Alzheimer’s.
“I think the future’s going to be fine,” Smith said at the time. “I’m going to do my best to make it work out for me, and for as many people that I can possibly help.”
Read dedications to Smith below.
The elegance. The grace. The style. May God rest and bless her soul. #BSmith was one-of-a-kind.
Thanks to @mmeans40 for this fantastic video. pic.twitter.com/ByZRURLiHY
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 23, 2020
She broke down barriers. She shined. She fought the good fight. Rest In Peace, B. Smith.#BSmith pic.twitter.com/ocEL3IkDoC
— Audrey Washington (@AudreyWSBTV) February 23, 2020
.@ThankyouDan #Memories #BSmith was an icon and a mentor. Rest in power Queen B. pic.twitter.com/zCf2LrXUhz
— Maya R. Cummings, Ph.D. (@MayaRockeymoore) February 23, 2020
RIP to the legendary B.Smith
I remember growing up and watching her show. I wanted to be her. Style and grace. Rest well beautiful. pic.twitter.com/diBjGf1Jyb
— Melanin Monroe (@whatdedesays) February 23, 2020
Sad to share the passing of restauranteur, model and advocate B. Smith after a several year battle with Alzheimer’s. We are thankful she spoke at our Celebrating Hope Gala in 2016. Rest B. And thank you 💜 #ENDALZ @alzassociation pic.twitter.com/G9IDVAB0DL
— Alzheimer's Association Connecticut Chapter (@alzct) February 23, 2020
We lost legendary fashion model, chef, restaurateur, lifestyle icon and magazine publisher, B Smith today. 70 years old, she and her husband, Dan Gasby were at the forefront of #alzheimers #research for people of color. Love to them and daughter, Dana. #bsmithwithstyle pic.twitter.com/pqFOpa9oxs
— Al Roker (@alroker) February 23, 2020
I only met B. Smith once or twice at her restaurant in New York City.
She was beautiful, graceful and welcoming each time. As a model, a TV personality, a business owner and an entrepreneur, she was always a trailblazer.
May she rest in peace. https://t.co/YqyxUZKMrB
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) February 23, 2020
All of these things so true. Thank you B. Smith. https://t.co/Fmi0QJNviu
— Tamron Hall (@tamronhall) February 23, 2020
RIP B. Smith. You epitomized class, true beauty and dignity. Rest well Queen❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/uJlWb9aapG
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) February 23, 2020