Multi-Talented Journalist And Model Passed Away
Back in 1985, a young lady named Gail O’Neill was walking through John F. Kennedy Airport in New York when she was approached by a photographer named Chuck Baker and his wife, Martha Baker, who worked as a stylist. The couple is responsible for discovering O’Neill and putting her on the path of a highly successful modeling career. Within a year, O’Neill went from working in marketing for Xerox to posing for the cover of British Vogue.
During her modeling career, O’Neill worked for brands including Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors. After her modeling career ended, O’Neill transitioned to a career in media, working for companies including CNN, CBS and HGTV as a correspondent.
Now comes the sad news that O’Neill has died. She was only 61 years old. Her cause of death has currently not yet been disclosed, but her death was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by her former agent at Click Models, Stephanie Grill.
During her modeling career, O’Neill was featured on the cover of multiple fashion magazines including Elle, Essence, Glamour and Vogue. Brands including J. Crew, Donna Karan and Avon adored her. According to Grill, “People just loved her. They would re-book her and re-book her. She was a major beauty with this beautiful personality — so authentic and kind. And she really had so much integrity. She would have had five or six jobs a day if she could. She had so many options. Everybody wanted to work with Gail O’Neill.”
Addio a Gail O’Neil, leggendaria modella e giornalista 😢 https://t.co/sf7I6GYw97
— Vogue Italia (@vogue_italia) October 16, 2023
What’s ironic about O’Neill’s successful career as a fashion model is that when she was a child she never considered herself very pretty. She once explained, “By the time I was 11 or 12 years old, I was convinced that my tall, skinny frame was some kind of cosmic joke…with me as the punchline.”
O’Neill began her career on TV in 1999 when she took her first job as a correspondent. That first job was for the CBS Early Show. Other shows she worked for include Private Spaces, Mission Organization and Travel Now.
O’Neill’s final career was as an editor-at-large for ArtsATL. Scott Freeman, the executive editor of ArtsATL remembers O’Neill as “a great journalist who cared about her craft and the people she wrote about. She had a grand curiosity about the world, which was a hallmark of her writing style. She had the ability to take a reader along for the ride on her journey of discovery.”
While O’Neill’s cause of death has not been disclosed, ArtsATL shared that “she had courageously fought a serious illness over the past two years.”
She was born in West Chester, New York, but lived her final years in Atlanta, Georgia. She died on October 10, 2023 at her home in Atlanta. O’Neill is survived by her mother, her husband, her sister and her brother.
Watch the video below to learn more about O’Neill’s life and career.
Rest in peace.