10 Models Who Saw Fame After Gracing The Sports Illustrated Cover

Sports Illustrated is a world famous sporting magazine that was first published in 1951. It features the greatest athletes and celebrities from all over the world. Each year, they release the very successful Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition of the magazine. The SI Swimsuit issue was first published in 1964 and featured model Babette March on the cover. Initially, it was done to fill up the pages during the slow months of the sports year. Eventually, the issue became one of the best sellers and has spawned its own line of videos and calendars. Several models have graced the cover of the Swimsuit edition and it led to even greater success for the model. Here is a look at some of the most famous and beautiful models that graced the cover of Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and went on to have successful careers.

10 Marisa Miller - February 12, 2008


9 Rebecca Romijn - February 12, 1999 and February 17, 2006


8 Cheryl Tiegs - January 12, 1970, January 27, 1975 and February 14, 1983


7 Brooklyn Decker - February 12, 2010


6 Kathy Ireland - February 7, 1989, March 9, 1992 and February 14, 1994


In 2006, Forbes magazine described Kathy Ireland as a "prototype of model turned mogul". She started her career at the age of 16 and appeared on the covers of Cosmopolitan and Vogue. She appeared in the SI Swimsuit issue 13 straight times, starting in 1984 and appeared on the cover three times. Her first cover was the 25th anniversary and to date, is the best selling issue ever. In 2014, her cover was voted the "Greatest Swimsuit Cover of all time" for the 50th anniversary. In the early 90's she founded Kathy Ireland Worldwide and released fitness videos, a line of clothing and fitness equipment. She also wrote six books, including a series of children books such as What Do Mommies Do? She has also appeared in a number of films such as, Necessary Roughness, Mr. Destiny and Loaded Weapon 1.

5 Christie Brinkley - February 5, 1979, February 4, 1980 and February 9, 1981


4 Heidi Klum - February 20, 1998


The German born Heidi Klum started her career appearing on the cover of magazines such as Marie Claire, Elle and Vogue. She became a household name after her 1998 appearance on the cover of SI swimsuit issue. From there, she worked with Victoria's Secret and has appeared in commercials for Volkswagen and McDonalds. She appeared on TV in shows like, Sex and the City and How I met Your Mother, as well as films, Zoolander and Ella Enchanted. She is the host, judge and executive producer for Project Runway and won 'Outstanding Host for a Reality Program' at the 2013 Primetime Emmy awards, which she shares with Tim Gunn. Forbes magazine ranked her second on their "World's Top Earning Models". She is currently a judge on the reality series, America's Got Talent.

3 Elle Macpherson - February 10, 1986, February 9, 1987, February 15, 1988, February 14, 1994 and February 17, 2006


2 Kate Upton - February 14, 2012 and February 15, 2013


1 Tyra Banks - January 29, 1996 and February 21, 1997


Tyra Banks holds the distinction of being the first African American model to be on the cover of the SI swimsuit edition. She started her career appearing on the covers of Elle and Vogue, as well as in ad campaigns for Ralph Lauren and Nike. She appeared on the cover of SI Swimsuit edition in 1996 with Valeria Mazza and again the following year alone. She began to focus on a film career appearing in Higher Learning, Love & Basketball and Coyote Ugly. She also had a recurring role on the Fresh Prince of Bel- Air as one of Will Smith's love interest. She is the creator, executive producer, host and judge of the reality series America's Next Top Model. She also had her own talk show, The Tyra Banks Show, which ran from September 12, 2005 to May 28, 2010 and won two Daytime Emmy Awards in 2008 and 2009. She ventured into music with the single "Shake Ya Body" and she wrote the novel Modelland which was a New York Times Best Seller in 2011.

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