Naomi Sims, the First Black 'Supermodel', Dead at 61
The first African American model to grace the cover of ‘Ladies Home Journal’ has died of cancer at age 61. She has also been dubbed the first African American 'supermodel.'
She was born in Mississippi and grew up as a foster child in Pittsburgh. Sims modeled in the late 1960s, and according to her Web site, appeared on the cover of 'Life' magazine in 1969.
She mingled with the likes of Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol, but in 1976 focused on a line of beauty products for African American women called the Naomi Sims Collection. She has also written five books on health, beauty, and success for the African American woman.
According to Newser, early on in her career she said, “It’s ‘in’ to use me… and maybe some people do it when they don’t really like me. But even if they are prejudiced, they have to be tactful if they want a good picture.”