Janelle Commissiong

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Janelle Commissiong
Beauty pageant titleholder
BornJanelle Penny Commissiong
1953 (age 58–59)
Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorBrown
Title(s)Miss Trinidad & Tobago 1977
Miss Universe 1977
 
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Janelle Commissiong
Beauty pageant titleholder
BornJanelle Penny Commissiong
1953 (age 58–59)
Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorBrown
Title(s)Miss Trinidad & Tobago 1977
Miss Universe 1977

Janelle Penny Commissiong (born June 15, 1953) is a former beauty pagent titleholder. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, she migrated to the United States at the age of 13, and returned to Trinidad and Tobago ten years later. After winning the Miss Trinidad and Tobago title, she went on to be crowned Miss Universe 1977 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

In New York City, she studied fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but returned to Port of Spain in 1976. The following year, Commissiong was selected to represent the Island at the 1977 Miss Universe competition in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

She was elected Miss Photogenic four days before the final, becoming the second black woman to win the award in Miss Universe history. On July 16, in the National Theater of Santo Domingo, Commissiong was crowned Miss Universe, attracting international attention as the first black winner in the chronology of Miss Universe.

During her reign, she was an advocate for black rights and world peace. Commissiong was awarded the Trinity Cross, the country's highest award, in 1977. Three postage stamps were also issued in her honour.

She married Brian Bowen, founder of Bowen Marine, who died in an accident in November 1989. After his death, she married businessman Alwin Chow.

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