Tyson Craig Beckford (born December 19, 1970 in Bronx, New York) is an American male supermodel and actor, known worldwide for his muscular physique, facial structure, and tattoos; and also as the lead model for Ralph Lauren. He is also reported to be one of the highest-paid and richest African American male supermodels in the world.
Beckford is the son of a half Jamaican half Chinese father (paternal grandmother is 100% Chinese, paternal grandfather is of Panamanian ancestry) and Jamaican mother. Growing up in Rochester, New York, he attended Bay Trail Middle School in the suburbs of Penfield, NY and then Pittsford Mendon High School in the affluent suburb of Pittsford as a participant in the Urban-Suburban Program, a busing program designed to give educational opportunities to urban youth in the city's surrounding suburban school districts. Tyson was a member of his high school football and track teams. 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.
In June 2005, Beckford was injured in a car accident near his home. His vehicle caught fire, and Beckford was able to pull himself out before it became fully engulfed in flames. The accident had a profound effect on his spirituality, which he later revealed on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Beckford is currently in the honeymoon period with new wife Berniece and in the past has been linked with female rapper Foxy Brown. Currently, he is the host of car show, Fine Tuned.
Beckford is currently a resident of West New York, New Jersey, located just across the Hudson River from Manhattan.