Former Miss USA and Miss Universe 1995, Chelsi Smith, died at the age of 45 after her long battle with liver cancer. The news about her death was revealed by her mother who posted a heartfelt message on social media.
Smith was born in Redwood City, California, to 19-year-old parents Craig Smith, an African-American maintenance man, and Mary Denise Trimble, a White American secretary. Her parents divorced before she was two, and her mother, an alcoholic at the time, granted Smith’s maternal grandparents Barnie and Jeanette custody of her.
When Smith was seven, she moved with her grandparents to Kingwood, Texas, where they would later get divorced as well, causing Smith to grow up in a divided home while she attended high school in Deer Park. She attended San Jacinto College and majored education at San Jacinto College.
Smith was the first African-American Miss USA to win the Miss Universe crown. She competed twice for the Miss Texas USA crown before winning the Miss USA crown.