Tyra Lynne Banks is an American media personality, actress, occasional singer, former model and businesswoman. She first became famous as a model in Paris, Milan, London, Tokyo and New York, but television appearances were her commercial breakthrough. Banks is the creator and host of the UPN/The CW reality television show America's Next Top Model, co-creator of True Beauty, and host of her own talk show, The Tyra Banks Show.
In 2009 she was honored by Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) with the Excellence in Media Award.
Tyra Banks was born in Inglewood, California. Banks attended John Burroughs Middle School and graduated in 1991 from Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. She was accepted by colleges such as USC and UCLA for television producing.
Banks began modeling in the 11th grade. She later went to Paris, France to do some runway modeling. Within Banks' first week in Paris, designers were so entranced by her presence on the runway that she was booked for an unprecedented twenty-five shows – a record in the business for a newcomer. She has done extensive print and/or runway work for fashion/advertising giants, such as Anna Sui, Coors Light, CoverGirl, Badgley Mischka, Bill Blass, Cynthia Rowley, Chanel, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Gemma Kahng, H&M, Isaac Mizrahi, Maria Snyder, McDonald's, Aislinn Dubois Modeling Agency, Michael Kors, Milk, Nicole Miller, Nike, Inc., Oscar de la Renta, Pepsi, Perry Ellis, Randy Kemper, Richard Tyler, Rifat Ozbek, Swatch, Todd Oldham, Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria's Secret and Yves Saint Laurent. She has appeared on the covers of high-fashion magazines such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Elle.
Banks was the first African American woman on the covers of GQ and the Sports I