Gossip columnist Liz Smith attends the 25th Annual Literacy Partners' 'Evening Of Readings' at Michael's Restaurant on March 4, 2009 in New York. Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

New York’s grand dame of gossip columns, Liz Smith, died at the age of 94 on Nov. 12. Her net worth had grown significantly in 2017 and was estimated to be approximately $1.2 billion, according to Vipfaq. The net worth includes stocks, properties and luxury goods such as yachts and private airplanes.

Nearly two decades ago, according to a report in New York Times, Smith had declined to disclose her salary but people close to her at the time estimated she makes $1 million a year, which was about $900,000 from her columns that appeared six times a week in Newsday and The New York Post and was syndicated to more than 60 newspapers nationwide. She earned nearly $100,000 from articles she wrote for the Good Housekeeping magazine and her appearances on WNYW-TV, Channel 5 in New York and on the cable channel E! Her agent also negotiated a $1 million advance from Hyperion Books for her memoirs.

Smith said, “Money was such an evil to me in my early life that I didn’t pay any attention to it. Even before I had money, I thought it was something to throw off the back of trains,” according to an interview with the New York Times in 1998.

During her childhood, she saw her father’s gambling wreak havoc on her family and her mother’s emotions.

With this in her mind, she said, “I had learned that it didn’t do any good to try to hold onto money.”

Smith raised millions of dollars for charities, including $6 million for Literacy Partners, according to Mediate News. Apart from this, she aided in donating millions for AIDS charity amfAR and the New York Landmarks Conservancy. She also raised money for the equality organization Women’s Action Alliance.

Smith once mentioned in an interview she wished she had handled her money better, according to the USA Today.

“I didn't know I was going to live so long. My advice to every young person is – be smart about preparing to live a long time. It’s not fun to be old and poor,” Smith said to the publication in an interview.

The syndicated gossip writer was born in Fort Worth, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in journalism in 1949, where she wrote for the Daily Texan and the Texas Ranger. Smith later moved to New York where she worked as a typist, a proofreader and a reporter, after which she entered the world of media as a news producer for Mike Wallace at CBS Radio.

In the late 1950s, Smith worked as a ghostwriter for the popular ‘Cholly Knickerbocker’ gossip column that appeared in the Hearst newspapers. She also worked for Helen Gurley Brown as the entertainment editor for the American version of Cosmopolitan magazine. Smith has also worked for the New York Post and later the Fox News for seven years.