Bette Cooper

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Bette Cooper
Born 1920 (age 94–95)
Hackettstown, New Jersey, United States
Alma mater Centenary College of New Jersey
Title Miss America 1937
Predecessor Rose Coyle
Successor Marilyn Meseke

Bette Cooper (born 1920) won the 1937 Miss America Pageant as Miss Bertrand Island, representing an amusement park on Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey. She was born in Hackettstown, New Jersey.[1] She caused quite a stir when she disappeared for some 24 hours after winning the title. Evidently overwhelmed by what was expected of her, she insisted upon a much lighter schedule than planned by pageant officials so that she could attend college. This led pageant officials to have future contestants sign agreements as to what was expected of the winner.

Cooper, who did some modeling and appearances in the years after her title, has long shunned any connection or involvement with Miss America.[2]

Cooper attended Centenary Junior College (now Centenary College of New Jersey) in Hackettstown, where she was a member of the Delta Sigma Sigma sorority and graduated in 1938 at ceremonies attended by Governor of New Jersey A. Harry Moore.[1][3]

As of 2013 she is the earliest and oldest Miss America awardee/title holder still living. She has two children, Cheryl and Gregory, as well as four grandchildren, Adriane, Derek, Noelle, and Sarah.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "SORORITIES ADMIT 85 AT CENTENARY JUNIOR; Majority of Students Named to Three Societies Are From New York Area", The New York Times, November 21, 1937. Accessed December 6, 2007. "Miss Bette Cooper of this community, who was chosen Miss America for 1937 at the Atlantic City beauty contest in September, is a new member of Delta Sigma Sigma."
  2. ^ "Miss America History 1937". Archived from the original on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2006-12-30. 
  3. ^ "68 TO GET DIPLOMAS AT CENTENARY JUNIOR; College at Hackettstown, N. J., to Hold Its Exercises Today", The New York Times, June 11, 1938. Accessed December 6, 2007.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Rose Coyle
Miss America
Succeeded by
Marilyn Meseke