Janelle Commissiong

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Janelle Commissiong
Beauty pageant titleholder
Janelle Commissiong, ACF 2014.png
Janelle Comissiong-Chow as Deputy Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Tourism Development Company
Born Janelle Penny Commissiong
(1953-06-15) June 15, 1953 (age 64)
Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
Height 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Hair color Brown
Eye color Brown
Title(s) Miss Trinidad & Tobago 1977
Miss Universe 1977
Major
competition(s)

Miss Trinidad & Tobago 1977
(Winner)
Miss Universe 1977
(Winner)
(Miss Photogenic) (Best National Costume)

(Miss Congeniality)

Janelle Penny Commissiong (born June 15, 1953) is a Trinidadian politician, model and beauty queen. She migrated to the United States at the age of 13, and returned to Trinidad and Tobago ten years later. After winning the Miss Trinidad and Tobago title, she went on to be crowned Miss Universe 1977 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

In New York City, she studied fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but returned to Port of Spain in 1976. The following year, Commissiong was selected to represent the Island at the 1977 Miss Universe competition in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

She was elected Miss Photogenic and Miss Congeniality four days before the final, and won the Best National Costume, becoming the first black woman to win these awards in Miss Universe history. On July 16, in the National Theater of Santo Domingo, Commissiong was crowned Miss Universe, attracting international attention as the first black winner in the chronology of Miss Universe.

During her reign, she was an advocate for black rights and world peace. Commissiong was awarded the Trinity Cross, the country's highest award, in 1977. Three postage stamps were also issued in her honour.

She married Brian Bowen, founder of Bowen Marine, who died in an accident in November 1989. After his death, she married businessman Alwin Chow. She studied at Bishop's Anstey High School.

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