Former Miss America Leanza Cornett Dies | 22 Words

Heartbreaking news has reached us that former Miss America Leanza Cornett has passed away. She was just forty-nine-years-old.

Now, more details have emerged about her cause of death.

The news of her tragic death was confirmed by the Miss America Organization on Wednesday.

"Leanza had a bright and beautiful spirit and her laugh was infectious. We know she meant so much to so many, including all of you," the statement said.

They continued:

"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."

Shortly after, the news of her sudden death was then confirmed by her ex-husband, former Home and Family host Mark Steines.

via: Twitter

In an emotional Instagram post, the star wrote: "It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the passing of my ex-wife, Leanza the mother to our 2 extraordinary sons Kai and Avery."

He continued:

"We will always remember the wonderful times shared during her short time here on earth. I find comfort knowing Kai and Avery will forever have the best guardian angel watching over them as they navigate life’s path."

As the news reached social media...

Tributes came pouring in for the star, who had clearly gained herself a significant fanbase.

The star had a lustrous pageant career...

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And it saw her win the lucrative Miss America pageant in 1993, just a year after being crowned Miss Florida.

Her talents didn't end on the pageant stage, though.

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She also had appeared as an actress on TV shows including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Weeds, and Saved by the Bell: The New Class.

But, Cornett has been significantly praised for using her platform to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS.

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And, as you can see from many of the tributes, this will be one of her huge lasting legacies.

The star went on to marry former Home and Family host Mark Steines in 1995.

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But, the pair sadly split in 2013 after seventeen years of marriage.

The couple share 2 sons together, Kai and Avery.

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Steines announced the news of Cornett's sudden death on Instagram, asking fans to please keep their sons "as well as Leanza’s parents and her family in your prayers."

A Facebook group called Leanza's Circle of Love has now shed more light on her cause of death.

A post published to the page on Oct. 16 stated that Cornett "sustained a serious head injury that required emergency surgery" a few days prior and was admitted into the intensive care unit.

Though an official cause of death has not been given...

It has been widely reported that the pageant queen tragically succumbed to these injuries.

Rest in Peace Leanza.

via: Getty Images

Our thoughts go out to her friends and family at this unimaginable time. For more on stars we've sadly lost this year, scroll on.