LAS VEGAS -- A 26-year-old Houston-area entrepreneur has been crowned Miss USA 2008 after besting 50 other beauty queens for the coveted crown.
Crystle Stewart of Missouri City runs a party-planning and motivational speaking company, as well as modeling professionally. She says she wants to dedicate her life to international philanthropy.
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 nationally televised show hosted by Donny and Marie Osmond from Las Vegas. The NBC network co-owns the parent Miss Universe Organization with Donald Trump.
The panel of judges for Friday's pageant included Heather Mills, model and former wife of Paul McCartney; comedian Rob Schneider; Olympic gold-medal swimmer Amanda Beard; and Christian Siriano, winner of Bravo's fashion reality series, "Project Runway."
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