Miss America winners

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  1. Vanessa Williams

    Vanessa Williams


    Vanessa Lynn Williams (born March 18, 1963) is an American actress and singer who is particularly well known for her roles as Wilhelmina Slater in Ugly Betty, Renee Perry in Desperate Housewives, and Teri Joseph in the 1997 feature film Soul Food. She initially gained recognition as the first African American woman to win the title of Miss America (during the Miss America 1984 pageant on September 17, 1983). Seven weeks before the end of her reign, however, a scandal arose when Penthouse magazine bought and published unauthorized nude photographs of Williams. She relinquished her title and was succeeded by the first runner-up, Miss New Jersey 1983, Suzette Charles. Williams rebounded by launching a career as an entertainer, earning multiple Grammy and Emmy nominations and a Tony Award nomination. She is also the recipient of 7 NAACP Image Award and 3 Satellite Awards. In September, 2015 at the Miss America 2016 pageant, Miss America CEO Sam Haskell apologized to Williams (who was serving as head judge) for what was said to her by the Miss America Organization during the events of 1984.

  2. Gretchen Carlson

    Gretchen Carlson


    Gretchen Elizabeth Carlson (born June 21, 1966) is an American television commentator and author. She was crowned the 1989 Miss America while representing her native state of Minnesota. She continues to work with the Miss America Pageant and has served as a national celebrity spokesperson for March of Dimes.

  3. Mary Ann Mobley

    Mary Ann Mobley


    Mary Ann Mobley (February 17, 1937 – December 9, 2014) was an American actress, television personality and Miss America 1959.

  4. Lee Meriwether

    Lee Meriwether


    Lee Ann Meriwether (born May 27, 1935) is an American actress, former model, and the winner of the 1955 Miss America pageant. She is perhaps best known for her role as Betty Jones, Buddy Ebsen's secretary and daughter-in-law in the long-running 1970s crime drama Barnaby Jones. The role earned her two Golden Globe Award nominations in 1975 and 1976, and an Emmy Award nomination in 1977. She is also known for her role as John Schuck's long-haired wife, Lily Munster, in the 1980s sitcom The Munsters Today, as well as for her portrayal of Catwoman in the 1966 film version of Batman. Meriwether had a recurring role as Ruth Martin on the daytime soap opera All My Children until the end of the series in September 2011.

  5. Elizabeth Gracen

    Elizabeth Gracen


    Elizabeth Ward Gracen (born Elizabeth Grace Ward) is an American actress who won the title of Miss America in 1982.

  6. Tawny Little

    Tawny Little


    Tawny Little (née Godin; born September 15, 1956 in Portland, Maine), Miss America 1976 and Miss New York 1975 is an American television personality.

  7. Terry Meeuwsen

    Terry Meeuwsen


    Terry Anne Meeuwsen Friedrich (born March 2, 1949 in De Pere, Wisconsin) is an American television personality, co-host of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)'s 700 Club, author and singer.

  8. Nicole Johnson

    Nicole Johnson


    Nicole Johnson (born January 9, 1974), Miss America 1999 and Miss Virginia 1998, became the first Miss America with diabetes and the first contestant to publicize an insulin pump. She now advocates for diabetes research, treatment, and education, having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1993.

  9. Leanza Cornett

    Leanza Cornett


    Eva Leanza Cornett (born June 10, 1971 in Big Stone Gap, Virginia; raised in Jacksonville, Florida) is an American television personality and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Florida in 1992 and Miss America in 1993.

  10. Bess Myerson

    Bess Myerson


    Bess Myerson (July 16, 1924 – December 14, 2014) was an American politician, model and television actress who was crowned Miss America in 1945. She became a city commissioner in 1969, beginning a prominent New York political career. In the late 1980s, her career ended amid personal and professional scandal.

  11. Phyllis George

    Phyllis George


    Phyllis Ann George Brown (born June 25, 1949), Miss America 1971 and Miss Texas 1970, is an American businesswoman, actress, and former sportscaster. She was also First Lady of Kentucky from 1979 to 1983.

  12. Heather Whitestone

    Heather Whitestone


    Heather Leigh Whitestone McCallum (born February 24, 1973 in Dothan, Alabama) is a former beauty queen who was the first deaf Miss America title holder, having lost most of her hearing at age 18 months.

  13. Suzette Charles

    Suzette Charles


    Suzette Charles (born Suzette DeGaetano, March 2, 1963), Miss New Jersey 1983, is an American singer, entertainer, and actress. She served as both first runner-up in the Miss America 1984 pageant and as Miss America 1984 B for the final weeks of Vanessa Williams reign (after Williams resigned in July 1984).

  14. Kate Shindle

    Kate Shindle


    Katherine Renee "Kate" Shindle (born January 31, 1977), Miss America 1998 and Miss Illinois 1997, is an American actress, singer, dancer, and AIDS activist. She is the author of the 2014 memoir, Being Miss America: Behind the Rhinestone Curtain, published by the University of Texas Press.

  15. Kirsten Haglund

    Kirsten Haglund


    Kirsten Haglund (born September 14, 1988) is a public speaker and president of the Kirsten Haglund Foundation who served as Miss America 2008. Haglund is the lead anchor of the "Morning Briefing" on Styrk.com, an online news network.

  16. Heather French Henry

    Heather French Henry


    Heather Renee French Henry (born December 29, 1974) is a Miss America title holder, personality, fashion designer and veterans advocate.

  17. Fay Lanphier

    Fay Lanphier


    Fay Elinora Lanphier (12 December 1905 – June 21, 1959) was a model most noted for becoming Miss California in 1924 and Miss America in 1925. She was also the 1925 Rose Queen. To date, she is the only person to hold both titles at the same time. She is also the first Miss California to become Miss America. Before she was Miss California, she was Miss Santa Cruz (1924). She graduated from Oakland High School in 1924.

  18. Erika Harold

    Erika Harold


    Erika N. L. Harold (born February 20, 1980), Miss America 2003, is an American attorney. She is also a two-time Republican candidate for the 13th Congressional District seat in the State of Illinois.

  19. Nina Davuluri

    Nina Davuluri


    Nina Davuluri (Telugu: నీనా దావులురి; born April 20, 1989) is an American public speaker and advocate. As Miss America 2014 and Miss New York 2013, Davuluri was the first Indian American (and second Asian American) to be crowned Miss America and the first to perform a Bollywood dance on the Miss America stage. She is "the first Miss America to receive xenophobic and racist comments about being a terrorist or Muslim extremist," because of her ethnic background.

  20. Carolyn Sapp Daniels

    Carolyn Sapp Daniels


    Carolyn Suzanne Sapp (born 1967) is Miss America 1992 and the former Miss Hawaii 1991. She is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University, which also sponsored her entry pageant into the Miss Hawaii contest. Before being crowned Miss America 1992, Sapp had already participated in Miss Hawaii three times.

  21. Dorothy Benham

    Dorothy Benham


    Dorothy Kathleen Benham (born December 11, 1955) is an American beauty pageant titleholder from Edina, Minnesota, who was Miss America 1977 and Miss Minnesota 1976.

  22. Marilyn Buferd

    Marilyn Buferd


    Marilyn Buferd (January 30, 1925 – March 27, 1990) was crowned Miss California then Miss America in 1946. She appeared in several minor films in the 1950s as well as several foreign language films, including the notable Touchez pas au grisbi opposite Jean Gabin (1954).

  23. Angela Baraquio

    Angela Baraquio


    Angela Perez Baraquio Grey (born June 1, 1976), known professionally by her birth name of Angela Perez Baraquio, was crowned Miss America 2001 on October 14, 2000 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, becoming the first Asian American, first Filipino American, and first teacher ever to win the pageant. She participated in the pageant as Miss Hawaii 2000. A member of a now prominent Hawaii family, she is the eighth of ten children (sixth of seven girls) born to an immigrant couple from the Pangasinan province of the Philippines. A politically conservative, pro-life Catholic, Baraquio has been publicly active in supporting various Republican politicians and in speaking out against abortion. She is also an educator whose platform as Miss America was character education. Since 2004, Baraquio has co-hosted the eponymous Hawaii television show Living Local with the Baraquios. She also helped host the Miss America 2002 pageant and has appeared as a panelist on MTV's Pageant School: Becoming Miss America and on the conservative talk show, Hannity, of the Fox News Channel. Baraquio is also a professional public speaker and author and has worked as a celebrity spokesperson for a Hawaiian bank and a hotel. Married to a Samoan musician Tinifuloa Grey and currently residing in California, she and her husband have four children and have their own business, Isle Entertainment, a Polynesian music and dance troupe in which the couple performs with others for group events. One of her sisters is Hawaiian media personality Bernadette Baraquio Hamada and one of her brothers-in-law (Bernadette's husband) is Hawaiian conservative talk radio show host and columnist, Rick Hamada.

  24. Vonda Kay Van Dyke

    Vonda Kay Van Dyke


    Vonda Kay Van Dyke (born 1943) was crowned the 1965 Miss America on September 13, 1964. Earlier in the year, she had taken a break as a 21-year-old junior at Arizona State University to become Miss Arizona. She is unique among pageant winners in that she was and still is the only Miss America who was also Miss Congeniality.

  25. Katie Stam

    Katie Stam


    Katie R. Stam Irk is an American beauty queen from Seymour, Indiana, who was crowned Miss America 2009.

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