Cindy Crawford - Biography & Career
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 Play.boy 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 Caf 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 dies 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.