Nebraska Senate Contender: One of People Magazine’s 2001 50 Most Beautiful

Posted February 20, 2013 at 12:09pm

The old adage that Washington is Hollywood for ugly people keeps unraveling.

First there was ex-Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass., a former Cosmo model. Comely movie star Ashley Judd is flirting with a Senate run. And now, there’s ex-Nebraska Treasurer Shane Osborn — formerly of People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People, who is considering making a run for retiring Sen. Mike Johanns’ seat in 2014.

Shane Osborn in People
(Courtesy People)

Osborn made People’s list in May 2001, fresh off playing a central role as a naval aviator in an international incident between the United States and China. Osborn was on a mission when a Chinese fighter plane collided with Osborn’s plane. He safely landed his plane, and the Chinese military detained him and a crew of 23 others for 11 days.

The writers and photographers at People were enchanted. Osborn’s photo looks straight out of a “Top Gun” still photo — motorcycle and all.

“… thanks to workouts with free weights five days a week, the South Dakota-born, Nebraska-raised Osborn also had the considerable muscle needed to wrest control of his plummeting aircraft after a midair collision with a Chinese fighter jet,” People wrote in the profile.

Besides the People magazine honor, Osborn was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Meritorious Service Medal.