Born in California in 1973 Tyra Banks got her start in the modeling industry in 1990 when she was in the 11th grade. During her first week in Paris as a young model, she was booked for an unprecedented 25 shows, a record in the business for a newcomer.
Over the years, she has gone on to have an extremely successful modeling career, appearing as the face of everything from Christian Dior to Coors Light. She also was the first African American model to appear on the cover of GQ, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and the cover of the Victoria's Secret catalog.
Banks has also successful made the transition to television and film. It began in the fourth season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when she played Will's old friend Jackie Ames and made seven appearances throughout the series.
Currently, she can be seen as host and judge of the CW television show America's Next Top Model, in addition to her own talk show called The Tyra Banks Show. In 2008, Banks won a Daytime Emmy for her work and production on the show. In December 2009, Banks announced that production on her talk show would cease in spring 2010 to allow the mogul to focus her efforts on Top Model and other as yet unannounced multimedia ventures.