First Latina Miss USA (1985)

On May 13, 1985, beautiful, talented Laura Elena Martinez-Herring was crowned as Miss USA, the first Latina to win the honor.  Martinez was born in Los Mochis, a city in western Mexico.  Her family later settled in Texas, the state that she represented in the Miss USA competition.  Martinez studied at Aiglon College, a Swiss boarding school.  The adventurous Martinez worked in India and traveled through Asia after graduation.  Martinez began working in the film and television industry, where her career suffered from the dearth of quality roles for Hispanic actresses.  Under the name Laura Harring, she starred in the “General Hospital” TV series and films such as “Rio Diablo” and “The Alamo, Thirteen Days to Glory”.

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