Gail O’Neill, a well-known fashion model and an original member of the popular morning show, The Early Show on CBS, passed away on October 10. The cause of her death has not yet been released, but she is believed to have been 61 years old at the time of her passing.
Gail O’Neill And Her Strut Into The Fashion Scene
O’Neill was born in Westchester, New York, and was the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. In the mid-1980s, she was working a marketing job for Xerox before she was found by talent spotters and began a modeling career. O’Neill has appeared on the covers of Vogue, Mademoiselle, and Essence, as well as in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. She has also appeared in advertisements for Avon, Revlon, and Coca-Cola, and has modeled for Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Perry Ellis, Marc Jacobs, and Michael Kors.
What was Gail O’Neill’s contributions to film and the Black Girls Coalition?
O’Neill was an early member of the Black Girls Coalition, an advocacy group for black models created by Iman and Bethann Hardison, alongside Naomi Campbell. She also declined to appear in advertisements for cigarettes or firms with South African investments during the apartheid era throughout her career.
At one point, she finally made the transition to television. Gail was a founding correspondent on CBS’ The Early Show when it first aired in 1999, and she also hosted Travel Now for CNN, Mission Organization, and Public Places, Private Spaces for HGTV. O’Neill spent the last two decades working at ArtsATL in Atlanta, where she resided.