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 Café 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"
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)
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.