Born on March 1, 1984, Naima Mora is an American fashion model and actress from Detroit, Michigan. Her parents named her after the John Coltrane song, "Naima." Her father is the jazz percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett and she is the granddaughter of artist Elizabeth Catlett. She has an identical twin sister named Nia, who works as a photographer. When Naima was younger, she received dance training, which she was able to show off on America's Next Top Model, Cycle 4. She is part-Irish, part-African-American and part Mexican. The film Whale Rider, the television series Law & Order
, and the Japanese appetizer, sushi, are listed as some of Naima's favorites.
As a finalist on America's Next Top Model, Cycle 4, Naima started the competition strongly. She won three rewards challenge, one of which required the girls to act alongside hunky actor Boris Kodjoe. Naima was also often praised for her performance, especially when she was able to embody the deadly sin of "envy" for the "7 Deadly Sins" Photo Shoot. Her perseverance, positive attitude and great talent propelled her to the Top 2 with Kahlen Rondot
, and after the two of them battled it out on a runway partially submerged in water, it became clear to the judges that Naima dominated the challenge, and thus, they crowned her as the fourth America's Next Top Model.
Having won the competition, Naima was privileged enough to acquire a modeling contract with Ford Models, a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl cosmetics, and a fashion spread in ELLE magazine. In 2005, she was a Miss Teen USA judge and made her way back to the runway for the charity event, Fashion Comedy Style. A year later, she graced the runway again, modeling for the Christopher Deane Spring 2006 Collection, Carlos Miele Fashion Show, Walmart and ELLEgirl Presents: Dare To Be You Spring 2006. She also appeared on the popular series, Veronica Mars, and can be seen in the pages of CoverGirl, Elle Magazine, Fuego Magazine, US Weekly Magazine, IN Touch Magazine, Star Magazine and Teen People Magazine. She has since pursued a career in music, and sings for the band Galaxy of Tar.
(Photos courtesy of UPN/CW)