When she was a child, Dutch-born Wilhelmina Behmenburg moved to Chicago with her family. In the years following, she grew to become one of America's most well-known models of the 50s and 60s. She appeared on 255 magazine covers during her career, including 27 covers of American Vogue
. She married Bruce Cooper in 1965 and they started the Wilhemina Models agency.
According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, she lived on a steady diet of coffee and cigarettes to control her weight as a young model. Sometime in the late 70s she fell ill and was diagnosed with lung cancer. She succumbed to the disease on March 1, 1980. She was just 40 years old.
Back to: Famous Tobacco Victims
See also: Smoking and Cancer - Statistics