With a heavy heart, EBONY regrets to share that the winner of the 2019 Miss USA competition, Cheslie Kryst, has died at the age of 30. According to the New York Police Department, her death came as a result of suicide by way of her jumping from a high-rise building in Manhattan. Her body was found on West 42nd Street.
Born April 28, 1991 in Jackson, Michigan Kryst went to high school in South Carolina and was a Division I athlete before graduating cum laude from the University of South Carolina. Following in her mother's footsteps as Miss North Carolina, Kryst went on to win Miss USA in 2019 after competing five times prior. In addition to her prestigious title of Miss USA, Cheslie Kryst was a lawyer who previously practiced at a firm based in North Carolina. She earned a law degree and a master’s of business administration from Wake Forest University. After taking time off from the law firm Poyner Spruill LLP to participate in the pageant, she was promoted to the position of diversity adviser in 2020. While at the firm, she worked toward advocating for social justices issues such as criminal justice reform. Kryst also served on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and was an "impact ambassador" for the nonprofit Dress for Success.
Adding to her many achievements and accolades, Kryst became a notable Extra TV correspondent.
Her family released a statement to EBONY in regards to her passing: "In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie. Her great light was one that inspired others around the world with her beauty and strength. She cared, she loved, she laughed and she shined. Cheslie embodied love and served others, whether through her work as an attorney fighting for social justice, as Miss USA and as a host on EXTRA. But most importantly, as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor and colleague—we know her impact will live on. As we reflect on our loss, the family asks for privacy at this time."
"Our hearts are broken. Cheslie was not just a vital part of our show, she was a beloved part of our EXTRA family and touched the entire staff," said Extra TV in a statement. "Our deepest condolences to all her family and friends."
We, at EBONY, send our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Cheslie Kryst.