Tyra Lynne Banks (born December 4, 1973) is an American model, media personality, comedienne, actress, occasional singer, and businesswoman. She first became famous as a model in Paris, Milan, London, Tokyo, and New York, but television appearances were her commercial breakthrough. Banks is the creator and host of the UPN/The CW reality television show America's Next Top Model, co-creator of True Beauty, and host of her own talk show, The Tyra Banks Show.
In 2009, she was honored by Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) with the Excellence in Media Award.
Tyra Banks was born in Inglewood, California, the daughter of Carolyn (née London), a fashion manager and NASA photographer, and Donald Banks, a computer consultant. The couple divorced in 1980, when Banks was 6 years old. However, the relationship between her parents, and between her and her brother Devin Banks (born 1968), stayed friendly. Later, Carolyn married Clifford Johnson; she now goes by Carolyn London-Johnson. Banks attended John Burroughs Middle School and graduated in 1991 from Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. She was accepted by USC and UCLA but declined to attend, instead pursuing a career in modeling.