|Pornthip Nakhirunkanok was born on February 7, 1968 in Chachoengsao Province, Thailand. At age of 19, Porntip Nakhirunkanok was crowned as the Miss Universe 1988 by outgoing titleholder Cecilia Bolocco on May 24, 1988 in Taipei, Taiwan. She entered the semi-finals in fourth place, right behind USA, Dominican Republic, and Korea. She impressed the judges so much during the interview portion that she swept the competition, becoming the clear winner for the evening. She received the interview score of 9.730, swimsuit score of 9.684 and 9.752 for evening gown respectively.
She is the second representative from Thailand to win the Miss Universe crown, the first being Apasra Hongsakula in 1965.