|Janelle Commissiong, nicknamed Penny, was born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad in 1953 to a Trinidadian father and Venezuelan mother. She migrated to New York with her family when she was 13 years old. At age 24, Janelle returned to her native land to become Miss Trinidad- Tobago and participated in the 1976 Miss Universe Beauty Pageant in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic that same year. On July 16, 1976, Janelle became the first black woman to be crowned Miss Universe. She also won the Miss Photogenic award at the pageant. She married Brian Bowen, founder of Bowen Marine, who died in an accident in November of 1989. After his death she married businessman Alwin Chow.