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Most-successful Sports Illustrated swimsuit models

The lovely ladies turned their appearances in Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issues into multi-million-dollar net worths

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    Kate Upton graces this year's cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and it could be a launching pad toward a multi-million-dollar career. The following are the seven most-successful Swimsuit Issue models from years past.

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012
    © Sports Illustrated
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    #7 - Marisa Miller
    SI cover: 2008
    Net worth: $10 million

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2008
    © Sports Illustrated
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    #7 - Marisa Miller
    In an interview with Forbes magazine, Miller said, "supermodels have to become brands to be successful." She's done just that and more in the four years since her SI appearance. She was the first spokesperson for the Harley-Davidson company and represents rum manufacturer Captain Morgan. For the 2010-11 NFL season, Miller made the rounds hosting NFL games and modeling jerseys. Something that had never been done for the league.

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2006
    Photograph by Walter Loos Jr.
    © Sports Illustrated
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    #6 - Rebecca Romijn
    SI cover: 1999, 2006
    Net worth: $22 million

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 1999
    © Sports Illustrated
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    #6 - Rebecca Romijn
    Rebecca Romijn parlayed her success as a model into an impressive career in film and TV. She played Raven/Mystique in the very popular X-Men series and has appeared in 11 other movies. She was a regular on the show "Ugly Betty" for three seasons and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance.

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 199
    Photograph by Walter Chin
    © Sports Illustrated
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    #5 - Elle Macpherson
    SI cover: 1986-88, 1994, 2006
    Net worth: $60 million

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 1988
    © Sports Illustrated
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    #5 - Elle Macpherson
    No model has appeared on the SI swimsuit cover more than three times, except for Elle Macpherson, who did it on five separate occasions. The 47-year-old model is considered the queen of the swimsuit edition, but it's her business savvy that has catapulted her into one of the most successful Australian women in the world. She was part of the initial wave of '90s supermodels and was the first to create her own brand, Elle Macpherson, Inc. – a company that handles her financial endeavors. You'll be seeing more of Macpherson on her new show "The Fashion Star" on NBC. A series that premieres next month.

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 1987
    Photograph by John G. Zimmerman © Sports Illustrated
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    #4 - Heidi Klum
    SI cover: 1998
    Net worth: $70 million

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 1998
    © Sports Illustrated
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    #4 - Heidi Klum
    Heidi Klum is a mega star in the fashion world and has been the host of the extremely popular show "Project Runway" – a reality series that rewards contestants for their fashion designs. She has also hosted the Victoria Secret fashion show on four separate occasions (more than any other model). In 2008, she was #1 on Forbes' list of the World's Top-Earning Models. Beyond that, Klum has a hand in several different business partnerships, among them New Balance, Amazon.com, HKNB, and a variety of her own design companies.

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2000
    Photograph by Robert Erdmann © Sports Illustrated
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    #3 - Christie Brinkley
    SI cover: 1979-81
    Net worth: $80 million

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 1980
    © Sports Illustrated
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    #3 - Christie Brinkley
    As a model, there aren't many more-successful than Christie Brinkley. She's appeared on over 500 magazine covers in her 40-year career and is worth approximately $80 million dollars at 58 years old. Moreover, Brinkley is an accomplished artist, clothing designer, author, entrepreneur and yes, she also appears in a running ad for Total Home Gym with none other than Chuck Norris.

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 1975
    Photograph by Walter Loos Jr. © Sports Illustrated
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    #2 - Tyra Banks
    SI cover: 1996-97
    Net worth: $90 million

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 1997
    © Sports Illustrated
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    #2 - Tyra Banks
    In 1996, Tyra Banks became the first African-American woman to grace the cover of SI, a significant feat both for her and minority woman everywhere. Banks is currently enrolled in the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard's business school, something she was able to pull off because of her success in the business world (including a majority share in her own production company, Bankable). Tyra's talk show is now in syndication after five seasons and 810 episodes.

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 1996
    Photograph by Walter Loos Jr. © Sports Illustrated
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    #1 - Kathy Ireland
    SI cover: 1989, 1992, 1994
    Net worth: $150 million

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 1989
    © Sports Illustrated
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    #1 - Kathy Ireland
    There's supermodels and then there's Kathy Ireland, perhaps the most-successful model-turned-businesswoman in the world. Ireland has appeared on several magazine covers (including SI three times) and recently graced the front of Forbes. Yes, the same Kathy Ireland who appeared as a kicker in "Unnecessary Roughness" is now one of the biggest names in brand product marketing. Her company, Kathy Ireland Worldwide, has moved over $2 billion dollars of merchandise in less than a decade. She has been dubbed the "prototype for model-turned-mogul," a significant title and a humbling one at that.

    Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 1987
    Photograph by John G. Zimmerman © Sports Illustrated