Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Miss Universe

The Miss Universe beauty contest has been held since 1952 (not to be confused with the similar Miss World; of course the scope for Miss Universe is not really wider than Earth).

The process of electing Miss Universe is a long one. Countries which want to participate must first hold contests in each city to elect a candidate to become the country's representative for Miss Universe. Then it must elect a candidate from among the women selected by each city. For example, in Finland, Miss Helsinki must compete against the women selected by the other Finnish cities. Once a country has selected a candidate she goes on to compete for the title of Miss Universe.

According to the organisers, the Miss Universe contest isn't won just on looks. Women who aspire to become Miss Universe must be intelligent, well-mannered and cultured. Many times, a candidate has lost the contest because she did not have a good answer to a question on the contest's question and answer round.

The first winner in 1952 was Armi Kuusela from Finland. There are 4 Venezuelan Miss Universes, 4 Puerto Rican Miss Universes and 7 Americans. Many other countries have won the contest once or twice.

One Miss Universe, 1981's Irene Saez, ran for President in Venezuela, losing to Hugo Chavez. Yet another one, 2002's winner Oxana Fedorova of Russia, became the first one to be stripped of her crown, making first runner up Justine Pasek of Panama, the first Panamanian ever to hold the title.

The Miss Universe contest's central offices are in New York, and the contest is held in different cities each year. All the contests until 1972 were held within the United States.

The winners

YearMiss UniverseFromVenue
1952Armi KuuselaFinland
1953Christiane MartelFrance
1954Miriam StevensonUSA
1955Hillevi RombinSweden
1956Carol MorrisUSA
1957Gladys ZenderPeru
1958Luz Marina ZuluagaColombiaLong Beach, California
1959Akiko KojimaJapan
1960Linda BementUSA
1961Marlene SchmidtGermany
1962Norma NolanArgentina
1963Idea Maria VargasBrazil
1964Corinna TsopeiGreece
1965Apasra HongsakulaThailand
1966Margareta ArvidssonSweden
1967Sylvia HitchcockUSA
1968Martha VasconcellosBrazil
1969Gloria DiazPhilippines
1970Marisol MalaretPuerto Rico
1971Georgia RiskLebanon
1972Kerry Anne WellsAustraliaDorado, Puerto Rico
1973Margarita MoranPhilippinesAthens, Greece
1974Amparo MuñozSpain
1975Anne Marie PohtamoFinland
1976Rina MessingerIsraelHong Kong
1977Janelle CommisiongTrinidad and Tobago
1978Margarett GardinerSouth AfricaAcapulco, Mexico
1979Maritza SayaleroVenezuela
1980Shawn WeatherlyUSA
1981Irene SaezVenezuela
1982Karen Diane BaldwinCanada
1983Lorraine DownesNew Zealand
1984Yvon RydingSweden
1985Deborah Carthy-DeuPuerto Rico
1986Bárbara Palacios TeydeVenezuela
1987Cecilia BoloccoChile
1988Porntip NakhirunkanokThailandTaipei, Taiwan
1989Angela VisserHollandCancun, Mexico
1990Mona GrudtNorwayLos Angeles, California
1991Lupita JonesMexicoLas Vegas, Nevada
1992Michelle Mc LeanNamibiaBangkok, Thailand
1993Dayanara TorresPuerto RicoMexico City, Mexico
1994Sushmita SenIndiaManila, Philippines
1995Chelsi SmithUnited StatesWindhoek, Namibia
1996Alicia MachadoVenezuelaLas Vegas, Nevada
1997Brook LeeUnited StatesMiami Beach, Florida
1998Wendy FitzwilliamTrinidad and TobagoHonolulu, Hawaii
1999Mpule KwelagobeBotswanaTrinidad and Tobago
2000Lara DuttaIndiaCyprus
2001Denise QuiñonesPuerto Rico
2002Oxana FedorovaRussia
Justine PasekPanama
2003Amelia VegaDominican RepublicPanama City, Panama

See also: Miss Earth, Miss World

External link