Who was the first Latin American Miss Universe? She is from Peru and is the mother of the famous actor Christian Meier | People | Entertainment

The first time that a Latin American, South American, at the same time, won the miss Universe It was in 1957, just 5 years after the contest was created. The sovereign, also one of the youngest to wear the crown in the international beauty pageant, comes from Peru.

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It is about Gladys Zender, born in 1939, in Contamana, Loreto, of a Swiss father and a Peruvian mother. She was crowned Miss Peru 1957 by the outgoing 1956 queen, Lola Sabogal Morzán. Gladys won the 1957 Miss Universe title in Long Beach, California, United States.

After she was crowned, it was revealed that she was only 17 years old, a few months under the pageant’s minimum age requirement. Pageant officials decided that she could keep the crown after being told that she was considered 18 in Peru.

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Upon his return to Peru, Zender became an instant celebrity. Or, as we would say in these times, a influencers:

flew in the maiden flight from Idlewild International Airport in the city of New Yorkuntil the Limatambo Airport in Limawhere she was received by thousands of fans.

masks, one of the most popular news magazines in Peru, soon featured Zender on its cover. Later he also appeared on the first full color cover of that post.

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Christian Meier and his mother Gladys Zender, in a file photo taken in the 1990s. Photo: Captures

In March 1958, he agreed to accompany the then Spanish sailor to a couple of social events. Juan Carlos de Bourbon, who was in Lima during his 4-day stay as an apprentice aboard Spain’s flagship, the Sebastián Elcano. Juan Carlos ended up becoming King of Spain 17 years later, in 1975.

The Peruvian composer Alicia Maguiña wrote a song called Polka to Gladys Zender. It was also titled The most beautiful and was recorded by the Peruvian group Los Troveros Criollos.

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After this media period, Zender decided to withdraw into a family life. In 1965 she married Antonio Meier, with whom she had four children. The least of all is the best known of all: Christian Meier, actor and singer, whose fame has positioned him in other Latin American countries, not only in Peru.

In fact, not long ago, in 2020, Meier recalled his mother’s victory in the international contest with a post on social networks.

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The soap opera performer paid tribute to his mother with a brief three-minute clip, recorded in black and white, just at the moment when the three finalists of the beauty competition are called one by one to the center of the stage, in the order of his triumph.

Upon learning that she has been named the most beautiful woman of 1957, young Gladys receives her crown, scepter, and ermine cape as she tries to hold back her tears. Finally, she walks the runway in her first run as Miss Universe. (AND)