Kára McCullough

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Kára McCullough
Kára McCullough at the NRC 03 (cropped).jpg
McCullough in 2017 at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Kára Deidra McCullough

(1991-09-09) September 9, 1991 (age 27)
Naples, Italy
Alma materSouth Carolina State University
Home townWashington, D.C., U.S.
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
TitleMiss District of Columbia USA 2017
Miss USA 2017
Beauty pageant titleholder
Hair colorBlack
Eye colorBrown
Miss USA 2017
Miss Universe 2017
(Top 10)

Kára Deidra McCullough (born September 9, 1991) is an American beauty pageant titleholder and scientist who was crowned Miss USA 2017. As Miss USA, McCullough represented the United States at Miss Universe 2017, where she placed in the top ten. Previously, McCullough had been crowned Miss District of Columbia 2017, becoming the fourth woman from the District of Columbia to be crowned Miss USA. Additionally, McCullough and her predecessor Deshauna Barber's wins marked the first time a state had won back-to-back titles since Courtney Gibbs and Gretchen Polhemus of Texas won Miss USA 1988 and 1989.

Life and career[edit]

Early life and education[edit]

McCullough was born in Naples, Italy to Betty Ann Parker and Artensel E. McCullough Sr.[1][2] Her mother was a member of the United States Navy for 23 years, and McCullough thus lived in various places such as Sicily, South Korea, Japan, and Hawaii.[3] She was later raised and completed high school in Virginia Beach, Virginia.[4] McCullough attended South Carolina State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry with a concentration in radiochemistry and served as the school's 75th Miss South Carolina State University.[5][1][6] While a student, she was a member of the American Chemical Society, the Health Physics Society, and the American Nuclear Society.[7] She has been inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society and the National Society of Black Engineers.[7][1]

Prior to becoming Miss USA, McCullough worked as an emergency preparedness specialist in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response.[8][9]


Prior to winning Miss District of Columbia USA 2017, she was the first runner-up for Miss District of Columbia USA twice, in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, she was crowned Miss District of Columbia USA 2017 by outgoing titleholder Deshauna Barber. On May 14, 2017, McCullough competed in the Miss USA 2017 pageant in Las Vegas. She went on to win the competition, beating out first runner-up Chhavi Verg of New Jersey and second runner-up Meridith Gould of Minnesota.[10] During her time at Miss USA, McCullough received media attention and praise for deciding to compete with her natural hair, which was seen as support for the natural hair movement.[11][12][13] McCullough was both criticized and praised[14] for her conservative question answers, stating that health care was a privilege for the working and not a right, in addition to calling herself an "equalist" as opposed to a feminist.[4] She is the seventh Miss USA titleholder born outside the United States.[8]

As Miss USA, McCullough earned the right to represent the United States at Miss Universe 2017 on November 26, 2017. Like Miss USA 2017, the competition was held in Las Vegas. McCullough advanced to the top ten of the competition before being eliminated. The winner of the competition was ultimately Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa.[15][16][17]

On May 21, 2018, McCullough crowned Sarah Rose Summers as her successor at the Miss USA 2018 competition, held in Shreveport, Louisiana.[18][19][20][21]


  1. ^ a b c "Kara Deidra McCullough crowned Miss S.C. State". thetandd.com. The Times and Democrat. 3 October 2012.
  2. ^ Edwards, Ashley (14 May 2017). "Miss District of Columbia, Kara McCullough, wins Miss USA 2017 pageant". mic.com. Mic.
  3. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wffNclhQ3Q
  4. ^ a b "Miss DC Wins Miss USA, But Not Everyone Is Happy". Romper.com. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  5. ^ "South Carolina State University". South Carolina State University. June 27, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  6. ^ Feit, Noah (14 May 2017). "New Miss USA is an S.C. State grad". The State. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b Walsh, S.M. (14 May 2017). "Miss USA 2017 Miss District of Columbia Kára McCullough: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". heavy.com. Heavy.
  8. ^ a b Persio, Sofia Loretto (15 May 2017). "Miss USA winner Kara McCullough is a scientist who has controversial opinions on health care and feminism". Newsweek. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  9. ^ Heil, Emily (16 May 2017). "Nuclear chemist Kara McCullough wins Miss USA". Stuff.
  10. ^ Rogers, Christopher (14 May 2017). "Kara McCullough: Miss District Of Columbia Crowned Winner Of Miss USA 2017". hollywoodlife.com. Hollywood Life.
  11. ^ Cox, Lauren (14 May 2017). "Kara McCullough: Everything You Need To Know About Miss USA 2017". hollywoodlife.com. Hollywood Life.
  12. ^ Lebsack, Lexy (14 May 2017). "Miss D.C. Shares The Inspiring Reason She's Wearing Her Hair Natural Tonight". refinery29.com. Refinery 29.
  13. ^ Sciarretto, Amy (14 May 2017). "Miss D.C. Kara McCullough Wore Her Naturally Curly Hair For Miss USA 2017 & Fans Are Here For It". bustle.com. Bustle.
  14. ^ Gutfeld, Greg (15 May 2017). "Commentator" (Miss USA). FoxNews Channel. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  15. ^ "South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters wins Miss Universe 2017". ABS-CBN News. 26 November 2017.
  16. ^ Domirez, Darren (26 November 2017). "Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters wins first Miss Universe 2017 crown for Miss South Africa in 39 years". Inquisitr.
  17. ^ "Miss Universe 2017". Amar Ujala. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  18. ^ Connor Coulston, John (21 May 2018). "Miss USA Crowns Miss Nebraska Sarah Rose Summers as 2018 Winner". Pop Culture.
  19. ^ Charles, Marissa; Rogers, Chris (21 May 2018). "Miss Nebraska Wins Miss USA 2018: Sarah Rose Summers Takes Home The Crown". Hollywood Life.
  20. ^ Vulpo, Mike (21 May 2018). "Miss Nebraska Sarah Rose Summers Crowned Miss USA 2018". E!.
  21. ^ Swift, Andy (21 May 2018). "Miss USA 2018: And the Winner Is..." TV Line.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jasmine Jones
Miss District of Columbia USA
Succeeded by
Bryce Armstrong
Preceded by
Washington, D.C. Deshauna Barber
Miss USA
Succeeded by
Nebraska Sarah Rose Summers