Born in Detroit, Michigan this beautiful 6’2” icon was discovered at the age of 15 was the first notable African American fashion model and the first black cover girl. In 1966, she became the first African American model to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine, a photograph in which she covered her whole face with her hand, except for her boldly outlined eye. Reportedly, that shot was chosen so as to not offend the magazine’s regular readership. She was a favorite of French couturiers, Paco Rabanne and Yves Saint Laurent. Her nightlife pursuits took their toll on both her career and her health, and on May 17, 1979, she was pronounced dead from a drug overdose at a clinic in Rome.
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