• 1997: TYRA BANKS photo | Tyra Banks

Credit: Courtesy Rebecca Romijn

Published: Tuesday February 12, 2013 09:00 AM EST



Banks broke barriers when she became the first African American model to cover SI in 1996, appearing solo in 1997 (left). She joined Victoria's Secret soon after – becoming the first African American to appear in their catalog, too – and enjoyed a successful runway career. Now 39, Banks is known more for her business endeavors: America's Next Top Model, The Tyra Banks Show, her book Modelland and her highly publicized time at Harvard.