Miss Universe is an annual international beauty pageant run by the Miss Universe Organization. The contest was founded in 1952 by California clothing company Pacific Mills. The pageant became part of Kayser-Roth and then Gulf and Western Industries, before being acquired by Donald Trump in 1996.
Armi Kuusela, was crowned as the first ever Miss Universe in Long Beach, California in 1952
Miss USA and Miss Universe contest was set up by Pacific Mills after they have withdrawn from Miss America when the winner of Miss America 1951 pageant, Yolande Betbeze, refused to pose in a swimsuit from its major sponsor, Catalina swimwear.
The first Miss Universe Pageant was held in Long Beach, California in 1952. It was won by Armi Kuusela from Finland, who gave up her title to get married to a Filipino tycoon, Virgilio Hilario, shortly before her year was complete. Until 1958 the Miss Universe title (like Miss America) was post-dated, so at the time Ms. Kuusela's title was Miss Universe 1953.
Miss Universe 1994: 1st runner-up, Miss Colombia, Carolina Gomez; Miss Universe 1994, Miss India, Shusmita Sen; and 2nd runner-up, Miss Venezuela, Minorka Mercado
The pageant was first televised in 1955. CBS began nationally broadcasting the combined Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants from 1960 and, separately, from 1965.
The main pageant was held consecutively in the continental US from 1952 to 1971. Since then, the pageant has been held in locales around the world.