Former Miss America Leanza Cornett, 49, dies

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Leanza Cornett
Leanza Cornett
Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Dick Cla
  • Beauty queen, Leanza Cornett has died at the age of 49.
  • Leanza, who was crowned Miss American 1993, had reportedly sustained a head injury and was hospitalised.
  • In a tribute, the Miss America Organisation said in a statement: "Leanza had a bright and beautiful spirit and her laugh was infectious."

Leanza Cornett has died. She was 49 years old.

The beauty queen, who was crowned Miss America 1993, died on Wednesday. According to News 4 Jax, the 49-year-old had been hospitalised after sustaining a head injury.

The Miss America Organisation confirmed the news of her death in a statement on Facebook saying: "It is with great sadness the Miss America Organisation relays the news our beloved Miss America and friend, Leanza Cornett, has passed away.

"Leanza had a bright and beautiful spirit and her laugh was infectious. We know she meant so much to so many, including all of you," the statement continued.

"We are devastated by this sudden loss in our Miss America family and we are deeply sorry for her family and close friends for their loss."

No arrangements had been announced for a service for Leanza as of yet, the organisation added, and concluded: "Hold on tight to those you love today. Time is certainly precious."

Though it is unclear how the 49-year-old got injured, her Circle of Love Facebook page claims she sustained the injury on 12 October.

"She sustained an enormous blow to the back of her head. The surgery she had on Tuesday was to stop the bleeding in her brain. Right now there is some continued bleeding and swelling," the page said at the time. "Brain injuries are not black and white. We have to just take this day by day."

Following the news of her death, Mark Steines, who was married to the beauty queen from 1995 to 2013 and had two children with her, wrote on Instagram: "It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the passing of my ex-wife , Leanza the mother to our two extraordinary sons Kai and Avery.

"We will always remember the wonderful times shared during her short time here on earth. I find comfort knowing Kai and Avery will forever have the best guardian angel watching over them as they navigate life's path.  I ask that you please keep them as well as Leanza's parents and her family in your prayers."  

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