‘Pioneer Woman’ mourns death of brother Michael Smith

November 4, 2021
Ree Drummond in the kitchen.
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Food Network star Ree Drummond is mourning the loss of her brother. 

“The Pioneer Woman” host, 52, confirmed on Facebook Wednesday that her older brother Michael Smith, 54, died over the weekend. A cause of death wasn’t provided. 

“It isn’t possible to sum up the life of someone as perfectly wonderful as my brother Michael, so right now I won’t try,” she wrote. “He was seventeen months older than me, my first friend and buddy, and I’m so grateful for over 50 years of photos and memories. Please pray for my parents, whose devotion to Mike was boundless, and who will feel this loss most acutely. Michael Smith, you were everything.”

USA TODAY has reached out to Drummond for comment. 

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In her 2011 book “The Pioneer Woman, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels,” Drummond wrote that her brother had “developmental disabilities.” Michael appeared on a 2014 episode of “The Pioneer Woman” titled “Cowboy Mike,” where he helped Drummond’s husband Ladd Drummond feed the cattle. 

“My kids love it when Uncle Mike comes over and I love it, too,” Drummond said on the episode. “Mike and I have always been really close. … So many of my childhood memories were centered around Mike.”

Drummond has two other siblings, Doug Smith and Betsy Smith. During “The Pioneer Woman” episode, she said the group of siblings “joke that (Michael) has more friends than the three of us combined. … He’s a popular guy.”

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Betsy Smith remembered her brother Michael as “one of a kind.”

“We lost Michael, my sweet and wonderful brother, this last weekend,” she wrote in her Instagram tribute Tuesday. “He will be missed by so many people who loved him. I’m very thankful for his life, the connections he made and his caring, fun and independent spirit. Love you forever, Mikey.”

This is the latest tragedy to strike the Drummond family. In March, Drummond revealed that her 21-year-old nephew Caleb and her husband Ladd were injured in a fire truck crash. 

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