Born in Inglewood, California, Banks graduated from Immaculate Heart High School in LA, before dipping her toes in the modeling world. She was considered an “ugly duckling” while growing up but soon turned into the beauty – gracing magazine covers everywhere.
When she was 16 years old, Banks signed on with Elite Model Management, after being rejected by a number of modeling agencies for being “too ethnic.”
After her high-school graduation, she received an offer for 1991 Paris Fashion Week, where she landed 25 runway shows. She soon appeared on a huge number of magazine covers, including Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Vanity Fair, and Harper’s Bazaar.
Banks became one of the few African American models to achieve the status of a supermodel, receiving several supermodel awards. She also landed on the covers of GQ and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, before appearing in the Victoria’s Secret catalog, and becoming a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
Apart from gracing the runways all around the world, Banks also appeared in TV shows and movies. Her acting debut was The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and she later starred in Higher Learning, Love & Basketball, Coyote Ugly, Halloween: Resurrection, Gossip Girl, Glee, and more.
Tyra Banks is the creator, producer, and host of America’s Next Top Model, as well as the producer of her own talk show, The Tyra Banks Show, for which she won two Daytime Emmy Awards. Banks also wrote a best-selling novel Modelland, got a CEO certificate from Harvard Business School, and founded her own cosmetics line, Tyra Beauty.
In 2017, she became the host of America’s Got Talent.
In the News
In 2017, Tyra Banks broke off her relationship with Erik Asla, a year after welcoming their son, York Banks Asla, via a surrogate mother.
In 2019, she graced the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for the third time, coming out from her modeling retirement especially for the famous magazine.
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