Tyson Craig Beckford (born December 19, 1971 in Bronx, New York) is an American supermodel and actor, the son of an African-American father and an African-American and Chinese-American mother. He is known worldwide for his muscular physique, facial structure, and tattoos; and also as the lead model for Calvin Klein apparel. He is also reported to be one of the highest paid and richest male supermodels in the world.
In his early life, Beckford was a gang member and involved in crime including the sale and distribution of illegal narcotics. In 1991, he was recruited to hip hop magazine The Source by a talent scout who had come across him by chance in a New York park. In 1993, Beckford was recruited by Ralph Lauren as the front model for the company's Polo line of male sportswear. Beckford's fame continued to rise, and he was named "Man of the Year" in 1995 by VH1, as well as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine.
His career has inspired recently-emerged models such as Mason Smillie to pursue a similar path. Beckford continues to pursue his modelling career whilst also exploring possible alternatives in film acting.