Cindy Crawford is a model. Born Cynthia Ann Crawford on February
20, 1966, in DeKalb, Illinois. Beginning in the 1980s and continuing through the
1990s, Cindy Crawford was America's most celebrated fashion model and one of the
most famous in the world, embodying the rise of the "super model" as
a late-twentieth-century cultural phenomenon.
Although there had been star
models in previous decades--Twiggy in the 1960s, for example, or Lauren Hutton
and Cheryl Tiegs in the 1970s--they did not sustain prolonged mainstream recognition.
Cindy Crawford and her contemporaries (Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell among them)
no longer merely posed as nameless faces on magazine covers, calendars, and fashion
runways but, rather, became celebrities whose fame rivaled that of movie stars
and rock musicians. Cindy Crawford stood at the forefront of this insurgence.
Although she found fame through her physical appearance, the brown-haired, brown-eyed
Crawford first distinguished herself through her intellectual attributes. She
was a fine student and class valedictorian at her high school graduation. She
enrolled in Chicago's Northwestern University to take a degree in chemical engineering,
but her academic career proved short-lived when, during her freshman year, she
left college to pursue a modeling career. Her entrance into the tough, competitive
world of high fashion was eased by her winning the "Look of the Year"
contest held by the Elite Modeling Agency in 1982. Within months the statuesque
(five-foot-nine-and-a-half inches), 130-lb model was featured on the cover of