Cynthia Ann Crawford was born February 20, 1966, in De
Kalb, Illinois. She was discovered by chance by a newspaper
photographer, who noticed then 16-year old Cindy at work
during her summer job of detasselling corn and took her
a picture of her. The photo and the positive feedback surrounding
Cindy's photogenic talents were enough to convince her to
quit her day job and take up modelling.
Thanks to two summers of modelling, represented by Elite
Model Management in Chicago, the All-American beauty proved
to also have brains -- she traded in the glamorous life
a model (at least temporarily) to study chemical engineering
at Northwestern University, on scholarship. The former high
school valedictorian pulled off the same exceptional grades
in college as in high school, but she didn't stick around
long enough to see where a degree in engineering would have
taken her. She left school in order to pursue a full-time
modelling career. After working for photographer Victor
Skrebneski in Chicago and becoming a success, Cindy took
her supermodel assets to New York City in 1986.
To no great surprise, it didn't take long for Cindy to
establish herself as a model. After two years, she was walking
down catwalks for the biggest fashion designers and posing
as a cover girl for fashion magazines. She had become one
of the first to enter the elite group of original supermodels,
along with models Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Linda
Evangelista, and she had the salary to prove it.
In 1988, Cindy made more history as the first modern supermodel
to appear in Hugh Hefner's mag. Her Playboy
spread not only impressed men young and old worldwide, but it lead
to her 6-year stunt as host for MTV's House of Style.
Always the entrepreneur, Cindy launched a series of swimsuit
calendars and fitness videos, which were both tremendously
successful. Her business savvy also came in handy when Naomi
Campbell, Elle MacPherson and Claudia Schiffer invested
in the Fashion Cafi chain, but Cindy saw potential in the
then lucrative Planet Hollywood.
With contracts for Pepsi, Kay Jewelers, and most notably
Revlon (a multi-year, million dollar contract, that is),
Cindy and her company, Crawdaddy Inc. were seeing the fruits
of her name, reputation and beauty.
Always one to take risks, Cindy decided to pose for a
different kind of cover shoot, on the cover of Vanity
Fair posing with the "outed" K.D. Lang. Named
the planet's highest paid model by Forbes magazine in 1995,
Cindy set out on more business ventures with her book, Cindy
Crawford's Basic Face: A Makeup Workbook.
She even ventured into the movies (albeit unsuccessfully),
in the 1995 film Fair Game, co-starring Billy Baldwin.
Her personal life has been nothing short of exciting. In
December 1991, Cindy and Richard Gere were married after
a 4-year courtship. Although People Magazine named
the pretty woman and Pretty Woman star the Sexiest
Couple Alive, the couple divorced after 3 years of wedded
(and sexually questionable) bliss.
After allegedly being romantically linked to Robert De
Niro and Val Kilmer, Cindy finally became Mrs. Rande Gerber
in 1998, and the mother of their son, Presley Walker.
The epitome of supermodel, Cindy has ventured into practically
every field possible, realizing that the lifespan of a model
is relatively short. Also a huge supporter of leukemia charities
(her brother Jeff died from the disease), Cindy has proved
that a supermodel needs a lot more than beauty to make it
in the catty world of modeling; beauty, brawn and personality
are required -- and a million dollar mole can't hurt either.