Rima Fakih, a Lebanese immigrant, won the pageant after swimsuit, evening gown and interview competitions.
During the competition, she nearly fell while walking in her gown, but she made it without a spill and went on to beat out contestants from all of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Fakih, who moved to the United States as a baby, is believed to be the first Arab-American and Muslim to hold the title of Miss USA.
She told pageant organizers that her family celebrates both Catholic and Muslim holidays.
Fakih represented the state of Michigan. According to pageant officials, she is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. After completing her reign as Miss USA, Fakih plans to attend law school.
The Miss USA pageant is not affiliated with the annual Miss America pageant.
VOA News – Some information for this report was provided by AP.