NAME: Tyson Beckford
NATIONALITY: The child of a Jamaican father and Chinese-American mother, Tyson is an American citizen but grew up in Jamaica and Rochester, New York.
BORN: December 1971 in New York.
DISCOVERED: Tyson was scouted by an editor from hip-hop magazine 'The Source' in 1991. Through that connection, he hooked up with a New York agency, and within months, Beckford was before the lenses of Herb Ritts and Bruce Weber. It was Weber who first brought the model to Lauren, who nabbed him for the company's sport, fragrance and body lines. By 1995, Beckford was on the covers of major magazines, including Paper and Essence and multiple-page spreads in Vogue, GQ, the New York Times and Details.
RÉSUMÉ: Ralph Lauren hired him in 1993 to represent his Polo Sport line exclusively. It was photographer Bruce Weber who introduced Tyson to Ralph Lauren, who immediately hired him to represent the company's fragrance and body line, 'Sport'. By 1995, Beckford was on the covers of major magazines, including Paper and Essence and multiple-page spreads in Vogue, GQ, the New York Times and Details.
KNOWN FOR: His unusual good looks and his eyes. He was named 1995 Model of the Year at the VH1 Fashion Awards and one of People's 50 Most Beautiful People.
HOME: Harlem, New York City and Jamaica.
TATTOOS: He has eight. His goal is to have more than Dennis Rodmann.
OTHER: He grew up in Jamaica and Rochester, New York and was involved in gangs, drugs and theft when he was a teenager. In fact, he says, he'd likely be in jail or dead today if he hadn't been plucked off the street in 1991 by an editor from the hip-hop magazine The Source.
Tyson wants to start acting and is taking lessons, in the mean time he's strutting the runways, working on a new exercise video and posing for a series of calendars.