Cynthia Ann Crawford was born on February 20, 1966 in DeKalb, Illinois. Her brother died young from leukemia and this affected her strongly throughout her life. She graduated class valedictorian and had a 4.0 grade average. She later won a full scholarship to Northwestern University. She had planned on studying chemical engineering but she left before graduating to pursue a modeling career.
When Cindy was sixteen years old she was discovered by a photographer who was taking shots for a newspaper article. When the photo was published she got the attention of many professionals who felt she would be a great model. She was encouraged by this attention and decided to pursue that career. She spent two summers modeling for the Elite Agency in Chicago and subsequently moved to New York City in 1986 where she continued to work for Elite. She quickly became one of the most in demand models of that time. Aside from her stunning beauty, a small mole over her upper lip became her beauty trademark and set her apart from other models.
In 1989 she posed nude for a Playboy spread and this parlayed into a gig as host for MTV's House of Style. She hosted that show from 1989 to 1995. In addition to being one of the first models to cross-over to TV hosting, she was also one of the first woman to become a supermodel. She posed for over four hundred magazine covers and was one of the first models of the day to expand her career to other venues. She made exercise videos, calendars; signed endorsements for famous makeup, clothing and skin care companies and, most notably, signed a contract to endorse Pepsi via TV commercials. She later formed her own production company called Crawdaddy Inc.
Her personal life isn't quite as scandalous as many of her contemporaries. She married actor Richard Gere in 1991 and the couple divorced in 1995. Due to their support of Gay rights it was rumored that they were both "secretly" gay and had married to keep their sexual orientation under wraps. The couple found this to be amusing and Cindy mocked the tabloids by posing on the cover of Vanity Fair with openly lesbian singer K.D. Lang. She later married Rande Gerber in 1999 and the couple have one son and a daughter together.
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