Maritza Sayalero

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Maritza Sayalero
Beauty pageant titleholder
Born Maritza Sayalero Fernández
(1961-02-16) February 16, 1961 (age 53)
Caracas, Venezuela
Residence Ensenada, Mexico
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Measurements 90-60-90 (35.5-23.5-35.5)
Hair color Light brown
Eye color Brown
Title(s) Miss Venezuela 1979
Miss Universe 1979
Miss Venezuela 1979
Miss Universe 1979

Maritza Sayalero (born February 16, 1961 in Caracas) is a former beauty queen who was crowned Miss Venezuela in 1979 and became her country's first Miss Universe titleholder. She is married to Mexican tennis player Raúl Ramírez with whom she has lived in Mexico since 1981.

Miss Venezuela[edit]

Sayalero competed in 1979 as Miss Departamento Vargas in her country's national beauty pageant, Miss Venezuela, capturing the crown and the right to represent her country in Miss Universe 1979.

Miss Universe[edit]

Sayalero showed enough of her legendary poise to become the indisputable leader of the night, winning the swimsuit, interview and evening gown competitions and becoming the first titleholder from Venezuela in a pageant held in Perth, Australia on July 19.

Immediately after the live telecast ended the stage collapsed as too many journalists and photographers stormed to get a photograph of the new queen. She managed to save a contestant (Miss Colombia) from falling into the gaping hole left in the middle of the set, although several unfortunate delegates didn't have the same luck, including Miss Turkey and Miss Brazil, who were injured as a result of the fall.


Her victory began a national interest in beauty that has resulted in the Miss Venezuela pageant becoming one of the most competitive and legendary beauty contests in the world.

Her name has become synonymous with beauty among Spanish language speakers, not only in Venezuela. In the 1980s, many girls were named Maritza, especially if the family name was the not uncommon Fernandez.

At least one ship was named in her honour, Maritza Sayalero.

Life after Miss Universe[edit]

Maritza Sayalero is married to Mexican tennis player Raúl Ramírez. She now lives in Ensenada, Baja California where for years she owned a boutique where she sold her own designs. The couple has three children: Rebeca (born 1982), Raúl Alán (born 1984) and Daniel Francisco (1989).

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Marisol Alfonzo
Miss Venezuela
Succeeded by
Maye Brandt