Leanza Cornett: Former Miss America, 49, dies from brain injury after fall

Gino Spocchia
·2-min read
Former Miss America Leanza Cornett (AP)
Former Miss America Leanza Cornett (AP)

Former Miss America and Jacksonville native, Leanza Cornett, has died following a brain injury.

The 49-year-old, who won the 1993 Miss America contest, died on Wednesday, having been taken to hospital in Jacksonville on 12 October with head injuries sustained in a fall, Action News Ajax reported.

Her family, who confirmed the death, had previously told the news outlet that she required surgery to manage bleeding to her brain. 

A Facebook page providing updates on Cornett’s condition also said on Wednesday that she had died. Â

Sue Roberts, who administered the Leanza Cornett’s Circle of Love page, wrote “Leanza passed this afternoon.”

“She was so loved,” Ms Roberts added. “I don’t feel like writing a lot right now; my heart is broken.”  

In a statement to Ajax News on Wednesday, the Miss America Organisation expressed its sympathies, and said Cornett had been “bright and beautiful”.

“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,” read the statement.

“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.”

The organisation said there was no more information at present and that “we ask that you please respect her family during this difficult time.”

It added: “Hold on tight to those you love today. Time is certainly precious.”

Ms Roberts, who posted updates on Facebook, had previously said Cornett “sustained a serious head injury that required emergency surgery” and was in intensive care.  

Cornett, who was crowned Miss Florida in 1992, had also made an appearance as Ariel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World in 1991.

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