Miss Finland, Armi Kuusela – 1952
Armi Kuusela was the first Miss Universe titleholder in history. Immediately after her winning, a Finnish movie was made about here where she played herself. Kuusela is still active in her community, participating in charities and involved in cancer research at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.
Miss France, Christiane Martel – 1953
Christiane Martel embarked on a successful career in international films after she was crowned at Miss Universe in 1953. Martel married Miguel Alemán Velasco, and together they have three daughters and one son and has resided in Mexico. She has continued to participate in the Miss Universe competitions by attending and appearing on television for those that were held in Mexico. She was also a celebrity judge at the Miss Universe 1978 competition.
Miss USA, Miriam Stevenson – 1954
Miriam Stevenson was the first Miss USA to hold the Miss Universe beauty crown. Her win over Brazil’s Martha Rocha was memorable for there was a tie between the two women, but Miriam ultimately was crowned. She made headlines after deciding to return to South Carolina to complete her education after completing her one-year stint in Hollywood at Universal Studios. After completing her education, Miriam hosted television shows for the local NBC affiliate in Colombia and was active in the media through the 1970s as a model, Miss Universe competition judge, and actress in national commercials.
Miss USA, Hillevi Rombin – 1955
Before competing in competitions, Hillevi Rombin was the Swedish national decathlon champion. After winning Miss Universe, she left Sweden for Hollywood to fulfill her acting contract with Universal Pictures. She studied acting along with John Galvin, Clint Eastwood, and Barbara Eden. She ended her acting career in order to focus on her family.
Miss USA, Carol Morris – 1956
While reigning as Miss Universe, Carol Morris met Presidents Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, and entertained U.S. troops with Bob Hope. She was also able to return home to the biggest celebration ever held in Ottumwa. After completing her reign as Miss Universe, Carol began her acting career during which she acted in many films and TV appearances. She is the only Miss Iowa USA to win the Miss USA crown and is still very active in the Miss Iowa USA competition.
Miss Peru, Gladys Zender – 1957
Gladys Zender became the first Latin American woman to win the Miss Universe title. After being crowned, it was revealed that she was only 17-years-old, a few months under the contest’s minimum age requirement. Competition officials decided that she could keep the crown. When she returned to Peru, Zender was featured in one of their most popular news magazines, Caretas, and was later featured on that publication’s first all-color cover. Glady Zender married in 1965 and dedicated herself to her family with her husband and four children.
Miss Colombia, Luz Zuluaga – 1958
Luz Zuluaga was the only Colombian woman to win Miss Universe until the 2014 competition. After Zuluaga was announced as the new Miss Universe, the only television station and most radio stations in Colombia at the time stopped their regular programming to report the breaking news. After years outside the spotlight, Zuluaga made headlines again when she married a medical doctor and moved to the United States. In 1966, she returned to Manizales and became involved with the city council as well as with the state’s institute of tourism, of which she eventually became director.
Miss Japan, Akiko Kojima – 1959
Akiko Kojima was the first Japanese woman to win the Miss Universe competition. She was a 22-year-old model when she won the crown. After her reign, she settled into a quiet married life
Assembled by BlackRedPink
Reference: Miss Universe
Image Source: Miss Universe/BlackRedPInk