- Gladys Zender
Zender became an instant celebrity in her native Peru born to a Swedish father and a Peruvian mother. She flew in the inaugural flight from Idlewild International Airport in New York (the contest was held in
Long Beach, California) to Jorge Chavez International Airportin Lima, where she was received by thousands of countrymen and women.
Her victory was not without controversy. After she was crowned, it was revealed that she was 17 years old; a few months under the minimum age requirement of the pageant. Pageant officials decided that she would keep the crown because in Peru, a person is considered one year older if they are more than six months of their current age. Incidentally, that same year, Leona Gage of the USA was disqualified from the Miss Universe pageant (and losing her
Miss USAcrown) when it was revealed she was married and mother of two children. Miss Argentina, Mónica Lamas, replaced her in the semi-finals.
Caretasmagazine, one of Peru's most popular political magazines, featured Miss Universe 1957 on their cover. She was also featured on that publication's first all-color cover.
She married Antonio Meier in
1965, soon secluding into a family life. They had four children together. Their son Christian Meieris well-known in Peru as an actor and singer, and has achieved some notoriety in other Latin American countries.
2003, she let the photographers of Caretas back inside the mansion she and Meier share, showing various artifacts the couple have acquired through their years together, including a collection of Incan art.
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