Mrs. America Pageant is a beauty competition that was established to honor married women throughout the United States of America. Each of the contestants representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia range in age from the 20s to 50s and earns the right to participate in the national event by winning her state competition. These state events are under the direction of Mrs. America state directors. The winner goes on to compete in the Mrs. World pageant.
Mrs. America, Inc. celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2011. The pageant has been televised on networks including PAX and WE (Women's Entertainment); in May 2011, it was carried by the My Family TV network.
The current titleholder is Austen Williams of Texas.
Titleholders are designated by year of reign; tournaments are held the preceding fall.
|1979||Carrie Gabriel Strom||New Jersey|
|1980||Carol Anne McEwen||Texas|
|1981||Paddy Boyd Argovitz||Louisiana|
|1984||Deborah Wolfe||West Virginia||1st runner up to Mrs. World; Mother of Miss West Virginia Teen USA 2004- Mary Ellen Wolfe|
|1987||Pamela Nail||Mississippi||Went on to win Mrs. World|
|1988||Suzy Kats||California||Was also the 1st runner-up to Pamela Nail in 1987|
|1989||Jennifer Kline||Minnesota||2nd runner-up at Mrs. World|
|1992||Dr. Doris Martineaux Dalton||Pennsylvania|
|1993||Keyna Baucom||North Carolina|
|1995||Kimberly Brasher||Oklahoma||Went on to be 1st runner-up at Mrs. World. Former Ms. Idaho|
|1997||Lisa Lilenthal||New York|
|1999||Starla Stanley||Utah||Went on to win Mrs. World 2000|
|1999||Stacy Willis||Alabama||Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when Starla Stanley won Mrs. World|
|2001||Nicole Brink||Indiana||Went on to win Mrs. World 2002, Previously Miss Indiana Teen USA 1992 (semifinalist in Miss Teen USA 1992) and Miss Indiana USA 1998 under her maiden name, Nicole Llewellyn.|
|2002||Laurett Ellsworth Arenz||Virginia||web page at Laurett.com|
|2006||Andrea Pruess||California||Previously Miss Virginia Teen USA 1992 & Miss Virginia 1995 (dethroned) under her maiden name, Andrea Ballengee. Filmed for television at the Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Racquet Club in Palm Springs, California|
|2007||Diane Tucker||Arizona||Went on to win Mrs. World 2007|
|2007||Marney Duckworth||Colorado||Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when Diane Tucker won Mrs. World|
|2009||Maureen MacDonald||North Carolina|
|2011-12||April Lufriu||Florida||Went on to win Mrs. World 2011, first-generation American (parents from Honduras)|
|2011-12||Lara Leimana Fonoimoana||Hawaii||Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when April Lufriu won Mrs. World|
|2012||Vicki Sarber||Alaska||Formerly Miss Alaska American Coed 1992-Placed 2nd Runner-Up at National Competition in Honolulu, Hawaii. 1990 Miss Alaska Teen of the Year. Placed 1st Runner Up at National Competition in New Orleans, La.|
|2013||Austen (Brown)Williams||Texas||Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2002 (Miss Congeniality)|
|2013||Kaley Sparling||Idaho||First Runner up, crowned Mrs. World 2014|
Some contestants in the Mrs. America pageant have previously held state pageant titles in the Miss USA, Miss America, Mrs. United States and Miss Teen USA pageants. They include:
- Mrs. North Carolina 1997 - Janice McQueen Ward - Mrs. United States 1999
- Mrs. Indiana 2001 & Mrs. America 2001 - Nicole Brink (née Llewellyn) - Miss Indiana Teen USA 1992 & Miss Indiana USA 1998
- Mrs. Virginia America 2001 & Mrs. America 2002 - Laurett Ellsworth Arenz - Mrs. Virginia United States & Mrs. United States 1997
- Mrs. Arizona 2004 - Britt Boyse (née Powell) - Miss Missouri USA 1995
- Mrs. Idaho 2004 - Amanda Peterson (née Greenway) - Miss Idaho Teen USA 1992
- Mrs. Iowa 2004 - Jamie Patterson (née Solinger) - Miss Iowa Teen USA 1992, Miss Teen USA 1992, & Miss Iowa USA 1998
- Mrs. Kansas 2004 - Kimberlee Easter (née Girrens) - Miss Kansas Teen USA 1986 & Miss Kansas USA 1992
- Mrs. Maryland 2004 - Nikki Karl - Mrs. Maryland International 2003
- Mrs. Massachusetts 2004 - Claire O'Connor (née DeSimone) - Miss Rhode Island USA 1999
- Mrs. Minnesota 2004 - Melissa Young (née Hall) - Miss Minnesota USA 1997
- Mrs. New Hampshire 2004 - Stephanie Mills (née Foisy) - Miss New Hampshire 1995
- Mrs. Texas 2004 - Jennifer Palmieri (née Craig) - Miss Georgia USA 1996
- Mrs. West Virginia 2004 - Amanda Duffy (née Burns) - Miss West Virginia Teen USA 1997 & Miss West Virginia USA 1999
- Mrs. South Carolina 2005 - Angela Hughes-Singleton - Miss South Carolina 1996
- Mrs. California 2006 & Mrs. America 2006 - Andrea Preuss (née Ballengee) - Miss Virginia Teen USA 1992 & Miss Virginia 1995 (dethroned)
- Mrs. Maine 2006 - Heather Clark (née Coutts) - Miss Maine USA 1999
- Mrs. New Hampshire 2006 - Jessica Plante - Mrs. Massachusetts International 2008
- Mrs. Florida 2007 - Jamie Converse-Estrada - Miss Florida USA 1998
- Mrs. Illinois 2007 - Hallie Thompson (née Bonnell) - Miss Ohio USA 1987
- Mrs. Maryland 2007 - Adrienne Watson Carver; Mrs. Maryland United States 2006
- Mrs. North Carolina 2007 - Kathryn Hancock-Stuart - Miss South Carolina Teen USA 1990
- Mrs. Oregon 2007 - Kimberly Takla (née Stubblefield) - Miss Oregon USA 1986
- Mrs. Tennessee 2007 - Christina Ryan (née Lam) - Miss Illinois USA 1999
- Mrs. Utah 2007 - Heather Osmond (née Henderson) - Miss Utah Teen USA 1994
- Mrs. Florida 2008 - Jaclyn Stapp (née Nesheiwat) - Miss New York USA 2004
- Mrs. Michigan 2008 - Sara Dusendang-Moylan - Miss Michigan Teen USA 1999
- Mrs. Connecticut 2009 - Melanie Varian (née Mudry) - Miss Connecticut USA 2007
- Mrs. District of Columbia 2009 - Deanna McCray James - Mrs. Maryland United States 2005
- Mrs. Massachusetts 2009 - Rosalie Allain-Morris - Miss Massachusetts USA 2000
- Mrs. Vermont 2009 - Jennifer Bisson (née Ripley) - Miss Vermont Teen USA 1999 & Miss Vermont USA 2003
- Mrs. Arizona 2010 - Corrie Francis (née Hill) - Miss Arizona 2003
- Mrs. Colorado 2010 - Shalon Polson (née Pecosky) - Miss Colorado Teen USA 1990
- Mrs. District of Columbia 2010 - Regena Robinson- Mrs. Maryland United States 2008
- Mrs. Florida 2010 - Kellie Lightbourn - Miss Virginia USA 1999
- Mrs. Hawaii 2010 - Alicia Michioka-Jones - Miss Hawaii USA 2003
- Mrs. Michigan 2010 - Stephanie Hunt - Mrs. United States 2007
- Mrs. New York 2010 - Meaghan Castaldi (née Jarensky) - Miss New York USA 2005
- Mrs. Texas 2010 - Shannon Patterson (née Schambeau) - Miss District of Columbia 2005
- Mrs. Ohio 2011 - Melanie Miller (née Murphy) - Miss Ohio 2006
- Mrs. Alaska 2012 - Vicki Sarber became Mrs. America 2012. Formerly Miss Alaska American Coed 1992-Placed 2nd Runner-Up at National Competition in Honolulu, Hawaii. 1990 Miss Alaska Teen of the Year. Placed 1st Runner Up at National Competition in New Orleans, La.
- Mrs. Texas 2013 - Austen(Brown)Williams Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2003
Mrs. Delaware 1985 - Debi Teed Fenimore ( née Dow) was also the first Miss Delaware National Teenager 1972 and Miss Delaware USA but abdicated that title before nationals for marriage.
Prior to the current Mrs. America pageant, there was an earlier pageant of the same name. The pageant was created by public relations executive Bert Nevins in 1936 as a promotion for his client, Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. When Nevins sold the pageant in 1963, it was the only nationally-televised beauty pageant for married women.
By 1964, participants were graded on cooking, sewing, ironing, party preparation and other homemaking abilities, family psychology, grooming, poise, personality and general attractiveness. Winners included:
Source: online newspaper archives
- 1938: Margaret Chamberlain, Ohio (appeared on Family Feud in 1980)
- 1939: Evelyn Schmitt, New Jersey
- 1941: Ruth Licklider, New York
- 1942: Peggie Diehl, Minnesota?
- 1943–46: no pageant (World War II)
- 1947: Janice Pollock, Ohio; then Fredda Acker, South Carolina (after Pollock abdicated)
- 1948: Maria Strohmeier, Pennsylvania
- 1949: Frances Cloyd, California
- 1950: Betty McAllister, Pennsylvania
- 1952: Penny Duncan, New York; Peggy Creel, Florida (judges' contest winner, Creel was the winner; but Duncan was announced)
- 1953: Evelyn Joyce Schenk, New Jersey
- 1954: Erna Snyder, Pennsylvania
- 1955: Wanda Jennings, Missouri 
- 1956: Ramona Deitemeyer, Nebraska
- 1957: Cleo Maletis, Oregon
- 1958: Lynwood Finley, District of Columbia
- 1959: Helen Giesse, Ohio
- 1960: Margaret Priebe, Iowa
- 1961: Mrs. George Murphy, Indiana
- 1962: Lila Mason, Michigan
- 1963: Marilyn Mitchell, California
- 1964: Deseree Jenkins, South Carolina
- 1965: Alice Buehner, Utah
- 1966: Joy Noufer, Texas
- 1967: Marlene Cochran, Kansas
- 1968: Joan Fisher, Utah
- Mrs. America website
- Pageant News Bureau
- The Desert Sun
- Mrs. America Titleholders, pageantcenter.com
- West Virginia 2004, TFTJ
- Palm Springs Desert Cities Virtual Film Office: Filmed in the Desert Cities
- "2005 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- "Mrs America 2010 Results". Mrs. America Pageant. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "2010 Mrs America". Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "2009 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- "2008 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- "2007 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- "2006 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- "2004 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- New York Times, July 20, 1966
- (appeared in Greyhound Scenicruiser ads and christened the first one with champagne in July 1954 in Pontiac, Michigan; "Mrs. America (Wanda Jennings, of Saint Louis, Missouri) broke a traditional bottle of champagne on the front bumper of F-701 (serial 002)."
- Ramona Deitemeyer
- Growing Up In The 1950s, the (Portland) Oregonian. The "Mrs. America" title held by Mrs. Maletis is apparently not the same as the one that is the subject of this article, because Mrs. America, Inc. reportedly celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007, making 1977 the first title in the current series. Mrs. Maletis is not listed on the official Mrs. America, Inc. website. See Mrs. America Incorporated, History
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