Elaine Irwin Mellencamp
Elaine was born in 1969 in Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania. At 16, she left home to pursue a modeling career. After her photo appeared in Seventeen in 1985, the Boyertown honor student and varsity letter-winner in track and cross country was a much sought-after face for magazine covers, advertisements, and commercials. Within a few years, she became one of the Ford Models and had graced the cover of dozens of fashion magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Self and Elite, most notable of which, some would contend, was her career high-point American Beauty VOGUE cover, shot by Richard Avedon.
She made her move onto the runway for Victoria's Secret and Calvin Klein and soon became a favorite subject of photographers like Herb Ritts, Irving Penn, and Steven Meisel for her natural, soft look.
Elaine was 23 when she married musician John "Cougar" Mellencamp. The two met when she was hired to appear on the cover of Mellencamp's Whenever We Wanted album and within 10 weeks, she was engaged to the musician. The couple celebrated their 15th anniversary in September 2007. The couple have two sons, Hud (born 1994) and Speck (born 1995), and reside in Bloomington, Indiana.
Elaine also made history on May 27, 2001, when she became the first woman to drive the pace car at the Indianapolis 500.
She was an at-large delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Currently, Elaine is in television commercials for Almay makeup.
See also: Model, Victoria's Secret, American, Calvin Klein, Politics, Almay Cosmetics