Former Miss America Leanza Cornett passes away following head injury
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A former Miss America and former Miss Florida has passed away following complications from a head injury.
Leanza Cornett died after she took a fall in early October, reports WJXT. Cornett was raised in Jacksonville.
Later Wednesday, the Miss American Organization announced her death, describing Cornett as a "bright and beautiful spirit and her laugh was infectious."
RELATED: Hurricane Zeta forces Fla. Panhandle voting sites to close early
"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."
Details surrounding Cornett's injury remain unclear.
Former Miss America Leanza Cornett attends the 7th Annual Walk To Africa Hosted By Dr. Bob Hamilton For Medical Missions To Africa on May 16, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
Cornett was born in Big Stone Gap, Virginia in 1971 before moving to Florida. She attended Jacksonville University.
RELATED: Tampa teen featured in documentary about what it means to 'fly like a girl'
In 1992, she won the Miss Florida pageant. In the following year, she was crowned Miss America. Cornett was known as the first beauty queen to adopt AIDS awareness as her platform.
She appeared on several TV shows, including Entertainment Tonight. She later married fellow TV host, Mark Steines in 1995. The two divorced 7 years ago. Together, they had two children, who are both teenagers now.
Cornett was 49 years old.