Imagine it is the 1970s and you find out that you’ve witnessed the first Puerto Rican woman win the Miss Universe crown. It’s a sensation and an entire island is beaming with pride. Other Latin American countries join in on the excitement because it’s always a collective win when someone from our community wins.
Her name was Marisol Malaret Contreras. Born in Utuado, Puerto Rico, the former beauty queen turned television personality was only 20 years old when she won the crown on July 11th, 1970. She received the crown at the Miami Beach Auditorium in Miami Beach, Florida. Malaret went on to have a successful career, which led her to become an inspiration to many Latinas for decades. Unfortunately, she took her last breath in this world on March 19th, 2023.
According to Puerto Rico’s leading newspaper, El Nuevo Día, her husband, Frank Cué, and her daughter, Sasha Stroman Malaret, were present during her last days and at her departure.
People react to Marisol Malaret’s death
Since the news was made public, many heartwarming tributes have poured in all over social media.
Dayanara Torres, who won Miss Universe in 1993, was one of the many who expressed their feelings toward Malaret’s passing. The following has been translated from Spanish to English. The translation may not be exact.
“Puerto Rico today dresses in mourning. Marisol Malaret, our first Miss Universe, our greatest treasure, has left us.
Marisol was always “My Miss Universe”, whom I admired not only for the glory she gave to all of us Puerto Ricans, but also for the great human being she was. Her business career, communicator and her impeccable elegance… Always rules!
I treasure our moments together, her advice, and even her scolding because she always wanted to care for me as a mother does for her daughter.
I always looked up to her, she was always my role model, worthy representative of Puerto Rican women. My reason for dreaming since I was little in wanting to be Miss Universe.”
Con profunda tristeza recibimos la noticia de la partida a la Eternidad de nuestra adorada Marisol Malaret. La despedimos con un profundo sentido de agradecimiento por una vida plena y ejemplar. GRACIAS, amiga, por TANTO💖🇵🇷🙏🏻
— Ednita Nazario (@EdnitaNazario) March 19, 2023
“It is with deep sadness that we receive the news of the departure to Eternity of our beloved Marisol Malaret. We say goodbye to her with a deep sense of gratitude for a full and exemplary life. THANK YOU, friend, for SO MUCH,” Puerto Rican singer Ednita Nazario wrote.
“She was a very special woman, the embodiment of beautifully confident,” shared Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart.
Con gran tristeza recibimos la noticia del fallecimiento de nuestra eterna Miss Universe, Marisol Malaret. Siempre guardará un lugar especial en el corazón de todos los puertorriqueños y puertorriqueñas y su nombre y sus logros quedarán grabados en nuestra historia. A nombre del… https://t.co/0mOCyDe7Sn
— Gobernador Pierluisi (@GovPierluisi) March 19, 2023
The Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, also chimed in.
“It is with great sadness that we receive the news of the death of our eternal Miss Universe, Marisol Malaret. She will always have a special place in the hearts of all Puerto Ricans and her name and achievements will remain engraved in our history. On behalf of the people of Puerto Rico and my own, I express our most sincere condolences to her husband Frank Cué and her daughter Sasha. Rest in peace.”
May Marisol Malaret rest in peace.