María Stella Márquez Zawadazky was born on May 5, 1939 in Cali, Colombia. In 1959, at 20 years old, she represented the Nariño Department in the National Beauty Pageant and was awarded the coveted Miss Colombia title.

Best known by her second name, Stella, she travelled to Miami Beach in July 1960 to take part in the Miss Universe competition, where she made it to the semifinals. A month later she took part in the first edition of the Miss International pageant in Long Beach, where she was crown as it´s first queen among 52 competitors.

Before she married Philippine industrialist George Araneta in 1962, Stella Márquez became one of the top beauty queens in pageant history, she won a total of eighteen titles, both nationally and internationally. Eight of her eighteen were acquired worldwide!!!

Today she lives in Philippines, serving as Beauty Pageant Director, sending delegates each year to Miss Universe and the world´s most important pageants.

Our thanks to Frank (Colombia)

This anecdote is from the month: AUGUST 2004

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