1995 Miss Universe dies following long-term illness

HOUSTON (AP) — The winner of the 1995 Miss Universe crown has died following a long-term illness.

KTRK-TV cites a statement by the family of Chelsi Smith that says the pageant winner died Saturday at 45 years old. Jarrod Klawinsky, a spokesman for Smith, tells the Houston Chronicle Smith was diagnosed with liver cancer in spring 2017.

Smith started her beauty queen career in 1994 with the Miss Galveston County crown. She went on to earn the Miss Texas USA and Miss USA crown the following year. The family statement says Smith is the only biracial woman to ever win all three crowns. The Chronicle reports Smith was also the only Texan to become Miss Universe.

The family says a public memorial service is planned for October in Houston.

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