Carole Ann-Marie Gist: First Black Miss USA Turns 50

… taking dance lessons or learning the piano and violin. Her story contrasted sharply with the middle class backgrounds of most of her competition and of previous Miss USA crown holders.

Controversy, however, surrounded Gist’s reign as Miss USA. Her conflicts with pageant officials became well known to the public by 1991. Toward the end of her reign she filed a $20,000,000 lawsuit against the Miss USA Organization for fraud. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed.

Following her reign, Gist co-hosted a program on the WORD gospel network. Carol Ann-Marie Gist is currently married with two children. She works for a Detroit area construction company and is a fitness trainer at Wayne State University.