Childhood & Early Life
Kára McCullough was born on September 9, 1991 in Naples, Italy, to American parents Betty Ann Parker and Artensel E. McCullough Sr. Her father was serving in the United States Marine Corps at the time of her birth.
Due to the nature of her father’s job, the family moved often to different places across the world. Thus young Kára got the opportunity to live in various places, such as Sicily, South Korea, Japan, and Hawaii. Later, her family shifted to Virginia Beach.
She was a bright young girl who performed well in school. Academically brilliant, she was especially talented in the sciences. After completing high school, she joined the South Carolina State University where she studied chemistry with a concentration in radiochemistry, eventually graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree.
As beautiful and graceful as she was academically inclined, she often took part in beauty pageants. She also won the title of the school's 75th Miss South Carolina State University.
A multi-faceted personality, Kára was also a member of the American Chemical Society, the Health Physics Society, and the American Nuclear Society while she was a student.
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After completing her studies, Kára McCullough found employment as a radiochemist at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Despite her high-profile career, she continued participating in beauty pageants and was the first runner-up twice, in 2015 and 2016, at the Miss District of Columbia USA competition.
Not the one to give up soon, she once again participated in the contest in 2017, this time emerging victorious as the winner of the title of Miss District of Columbia USA 2017. She was crowned by the outgoing titleholder Deshauna Barber.
The Miss USA 2017 Pageant
As the reigning Miss District of Columbia USA 2017, Kára McCullough represented the state at the Miss USA 2017 pageant. At the pageant, she was one among the more than 50 contestants from different states vying for the coveted national title.
Tall, beautiful, and graceful, Kára McCullough breezed through the initial rounds without much difficulty. She was undeterred even as the competition stiffened and most of the aspirants were eliminated.
One of the most confident women in the contest, she was hailed to be a favorite from the very beginning. She not only charmed the audience with her beauty and grace, but also won over the judges with her intelligent answers to the questions they posed.
She successfully crossed several rounds of the pageant and was one of the top five. She faced tough competition at this stage, and had to face other popular participants like Chhavi Verg of New Jersey and Meridith Gould of Minnesota.
Over the course of the pageant, McCullough received considerable media attention for equating feminism with “man-hatred,” and for stating that health care was not a right, but a privilege for the working. She also received criticism, as well as praise, for deciding to compete with her natural hair.
Finally after several rounds of questions and answers in the last stages of the competition, Kára McCullough was crowned Miss USA 2017 by the outgoing titleholder, Deshauna Barber, also from the District of Columbia. She will represent the United States at the Miss Universe 2017 pageant.