The 2008 Miss USA Pageant

26-year-old Texan crowned Miss USA
By KATHLEEN HENNESSEY, Associated Press Writer

A 26-year-old entrepreneur from Texas was named Miss USA on Friday, besting 50 other beauty queens for the coveted crown.

Crystle Stewart, of Missouri City, Texas, runs a party-planning and motivational speaking company, as well as modeling professionally. She says she wants to dedicate her life to international philanthropy.

“I want to talk to people about how to set a goal and achieve it,” she told The Associated Press after the show. “Because I just achieved my goal.”

Stewart edged out first runner-up Leah Laviano of Mississippi and Tiffany Andrade of New Jersey.

Miss USA 2007 Rachel Smith relinquished the crown — and the posh New York apartment that comes with it — in a show aired live by NBC with hosts Donny and Marie Osmond from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The network co-owns the parent Miss Universe Organization with Donald Trump.

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