Cheslie Corrinne Kryst was an African-American beauty queen, lawyer, model and television presenter. She was the 68th woman to hold the Miss USA title.
Kryst was born in Jackson, Michigan, United States to a Polish American father named Rodney Kryst and an African American mother named April Simpkins. Cheslie was raised by her mother and her stepfather David Simpkins.
Cheslie has a sister named Page Kryst and four brothers namely Asa Kryst, Chandler Kryst, Jet Simpkins and Brooklyn Simpkins. From Michigan, Cheslie, Page, Asa, Chandler and their parents moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, USA then to Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA and to Fort Mill, South Carolina.
As a lawyer, Cheslie worked pro bono for clients who were low-level drug offenders. She also founded White Collar Glam, a fashion blog dedicated to helping women dress professionally in white-collar jobs, and modeled for the retail company Express.
Cheslie was 5’6″ tall. Here are 13 more things about her:
- She attended Northwestern High School in Rock Hill where she won Miss Freshman.
- In 2009, she graduated from Fort Mill High School in Fort Mill. She was Miss Fort Mill High School.
- In 2013, she won the 1L Trial Bar Competition Finals and graduated from the Darla Moore School of Business of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and human resource management. While attending the university, she was a track and field athlete. After her graduation, she became licensed to practice law in both North Carolina and South Carolina and started working at Poyner Spruill LLP as an attorney practicing complex civil litigation.
- In 2016, she competed at Miss North Carolina USA 2017. She was fourth runner-up.
- In 2017, she competed at Miss North Carolina USA 2018 and finished in the Top 10. In the same year, she graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with a juris doctor and a master’s degree in business administration.
- In 2018, she represented Metrolina at Miss North Carolina USA 2019 and won the title.
- On May 2, 2019, she represented North Carolina at Miss USA 2019 at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada, USA and won the title, making her the third Miss USA from North Carolina.
- In September 2019, she served as a special correspondent for “Extra.” In October 2019, she became the show’s correspondent for New York, USA.
- On December 8, 2019, she represented the U.S. at Miss Universe 2019 at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, USA and competed against 89 other candidates. She finished in the Top 10.
- She received a nomination for Outstanding Entertainment News Program both at the 47th Daytime Emmy Awards in 2020 and at the 48th Daytime Emmy Awards in 2021.
- On December 13, 2021, she served as a co-presenter at Miss Universe 2021 in Eilat, Israel.
- On January 30, 2022, she died after jumping from her apartment building in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York. She lived on the ninth floor of the building and was last seen on a 29th-floor terrace.
- She died at the age of 30. Her death was ruled a suicide, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner confirmed on February 1, 2022.