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Ree Drummond's brother Michael Smith: family tragedy explained

Michael Smith was 54 when he died in 2021

Ree Drummond standing in front of a sunflower covered billboard, looking at the camera
Hannah Watkin
Hannah WatkinContent Writer
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Ree Drummond's career has gone from strength to strength over the past decade, blossoming from her Pioneer Woman blog and books to her successful Food Network TV show of the same name.

However, the last few years have also brought some personal tragedies for the celebrity chef and married mother of four, who makes frequent appearances on shows such as The Today Show and The View.

Find out all we know about her older brother Michael Smith's tragic passing below.

What happened to Ree Drummond's brother Michael Smith?

A black and white photo of Ree hugging her brother, they are sat on a car, both are children© Ree Drummond on Facebook
Ree and Michael together as children

Michael Drummond passed away on October 30, 2021, aged 54.

His cause of death was never publicly released, although a close friend of Michael's named Dan Dalton did mention via a tribute shared on social media that Michael "went fast and did not suffer."

Dan was the first to post about Mike's death on social media, although news of his death was also shared by Ree Drummond's sister, Betsy, through an Instagram post shared on November 2.

A day later, The Food Network star took to Facebook herself to mourn her brother's death.

What did Ree Drummond say following her brother Michael Smith's death?

After Mike's death, the cookbook author published a statement regarding his passing on social media.

Black and white photo of two young children sat in a cart, Ree is on the left and her brother is on the right, reaching out to touch her cheek© Ree Drummond on Facebook
Ree shared several photos of her with her brother with her statement

"Michael Smith, you were everything," Ree penned emotionally on the Wednesday following his death.

"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 continued. "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."

The 54-year-old added: "Please pray for my parents, whose devotion to Mike was boundless, and who will feel this loss most acutely."

Who was Ree Drummond's brother Michael Smith?

Michael Smith, also known as Mike to his friends and family, was Food Network star Ree Drummond's older brother. Ree and Mike were two of their parents' four children, who all grew up in Bartlesville. 

Michael had special needs, and was a popular figure in his local community of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where he took a great interest in the work of local first responders.

Ree Drummond's brother Michael Smith sat wearing a baseball hat and smiling at the camera© Ree Drummond on Facebook
Ree Drummond's brother Michael Smith

Following news of his death, the Washington County Emergency Management Agency wrote a tribute to the 54-year-old, calling him a "legend and icon" who "will be sorely missed and always remembered."

Bartlesville Professional Firefighters Union also posted a tribute, calling Michael "one of a kind" while admitting: "We are going to miss our friend Michael Smith."

Michael was also known to his sister Ree's fanbase as he had made appearances on her Food Network show, The Pioneer Woman, and was regularly referenced in her blog posts.

The two siblings' younger sister Betsy also posted a message on social media following Mike's death.

"We lost Michael, my sweet and wonderful brother, this last weekend," she wrote on Instagram. "He was one of a kind, and 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."

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