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Cheryl Tiegs
First SI swimsuit edition cover model, Babette, coaxed into public
First SI swimsuit edition cover model, Babette, coaxed into public

In 1964, a 22-year-old, fresh-faced model singularly named Babette appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, splashing in the waters off Cozumel, Mexico, clad in a midriff-baring two-piece swimsuit. Little did she suspect the juggernaut that would follow. This week, SI publishes its 50th anniversary swimsuit edition — an annual issue that has become the most profitable single magazine in the world, according to Forbes. It's helped propel models including Cheryl Tiegs, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, Christie Brinkley and Kathy Ireland into enduring fame and fortune. Not quite so Babette, who began her international modeling career in 1961 and called it quits in 1978. These...

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