Our first Latin Miss Universe!!

from Peru, Gladys Zender!!!

The first winner is never forgotten, and this time Miss Mexico Everywhere Forum wants to pay a deserved tribute to Gladys Zender Urbina, the beautiful Peruvian who conquered the very first Miss Universe crown in July 19th, 1957, in Long Beach California.


With only 17 years old and in the middle of a great controversy by the recent destitution of the Miss USA (since it was discovered that she was married and that it had children), Gladys Zender almost loses the crown because of her age, the directors of the Miss Universe pageant call to an urgent meeting and according to the newspaper Los Angeles Times, the meeting lasted about 2 hours and a half, meanwhile Gladys waited in her room of the Lafayette Hotel with 3 security guards outside her door, finally the directors reach an agreement and decided that they would allow her to continue with the Miss Universe title since she was only a few months away to turn 18 years old (October 19th).

  • Gladys was the first Miss Universe in having a “chaperona”, her own mother!!!
  • Also she was the first in not receiving a contract for a film in Hollywood ("thanks" to her father that arranged it).
  • Her official welcome to Peru, the day of August 11 of 1957, was declared a National Celebration.
  • Gladys was a national champion of Volleyball in Peru.



Our thanks to Carlos Lagos (Perú)

This anecdote is from the month: MARCH 2004

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