The first use of the title “Miss Universe” was as part of International Pageant of Pulchritude which began in 1926. These events, the first international contests, lasted until 1935 when the Great Depression and other events preceding World War II led to their demise. This pageant had no direct relationship with the modern event.
The winner of the later “Miss America 1951” pageant, Yolande Betbeze, refused to pose in a swimsuit from its major sponsor, Catalina swimwear. As a result, the brand’s manufacturer Pacific Mills withdrew from Miss America and set up the Miss USA and Miss Universe contests. The first Miss Universe Pageant was held in Long Beach, California in 1952.
The contest was founded in 1952 by California clothing company Pacific Mills. The pageant became part of Kayser-Roth and then Gulf and Western Industries, before being acquired by Donald Trump in 1996.
The pageant was first televised in 1955. CBS began nationally broadcasting the combined Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants from 1960 and, separately, from 1965. In 2003 NBC took over the television rights.
In 1998, Miss Universe changed its name from Miss Universe, Inc. to Miss Universe Organization and the headquarters moved from Long Beach, Los Angeles to New York City that year. Donald Trump brought in a new team of professionals to the contest headed by its new CEO, Molly Miles, and president Maureen Reidy. Miles coined the slogan “Redefined for Today” for promotion of the pageants. That year, the new Miss Universe logo was born: The Woman with the Stars, which is still used today.