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Former Charlotte resident and Miss USA Cheslie Kryst tragically took her own life on January 30th, 2022.

Prior to her sudden passing, Kryst was working on a memoir and it was her wish that it be published. Cheslie wrote the first half. Her mom, April Simpkins, wrote the second.


The book delves deeply into mental illness.

In the memoir, Kryst is powerful and vulnerable and reveals her journey to the crown while being challenged with imposter syndrome.

Her mother competed in pageantry and was crowned Mrs. North Carolina US when Cheslie was a child.

The family moved from Michigan to Charotte when Cheslie was young and later settled in Rock Hill where Cheslie attended Northwestern High School.

The family later moved to Fort Mill with Cheslie transferring to Fort Mill High School and graduated in 2009.

Upon graduaton, Cheslie moved to Columbia and attended the Honors College at USC. She graduated cum laude from the Darla Moore School of Business. She was also a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society, Gamecocks women’s track and field team and the mock trial.

She then enrolled in Wake Forest’s law school where she received her J.D. and M.B.A. She became licensed to practice law in both North and South Carolina.

In 2016, Kryst competed in Miss North Carolina USA where she was the fourth runner-up.She would go on to compete and win the whole crown in 2019.

Cheslie represented the United States at Miss Universe 2019, and won on December 8, 2019.

She also held various roles on television shows (like as a correspondent for Extra where she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy) before her untimely death in 2022.

“By the Time You Read This: The Space Between Cheslie’s Smile and Mental Illness” will be released on April 23rd.