Cheryl Prewitt

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Cheryl Prewitt
Cheryl Prewitt, 1980 Miss America, aboard USS Frederick (LST-1184), in 1980.jpg
Born (1957-02-15) February 15, 1957 (age 62)
Other namesCheryl Salem
Alma materMississippi State University
OccupationSinger, author, musician
TitleMiss Starkville 1979
Miss Mississippi 1979
Miss America 1980
PredecessorKylene Barker
SuccessorSusan Powell
Harry Salem II (m. 1985)
Children3 (1 deceased)

Cheryl Salem (née Prewitt) (born February 15, 1957), is an American Christian evangelist, author, musician, and former beauty pageant titleholder, who was Miss Mississippi 1979 and Miss America 1980.

Early life[edit]

At age 11, a horrifying automobile accident left Prewitt with a scarred face, a body cast and was in a wheelchair.[1]


Ms. Prewitt entered, and lost, pageants for five years before winning the crown that would take her to Atlantic City for the Miss America pageant. She won the Miss Starkville and Miss Mississippi titles in 1979.[citation needed]

Prewitt became Miss America 1980, despite a history of poverty, sexual abuse, a physical handicap, and a total of 200 facial stitches.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

She married Harry Salem II, (the brother-in-law of televangelist, Richard Roberts) in 1985. Along with her husband, she ministers through Salem Family Ministries.[2]

The couple have two sons, Harry III and Roman, and had a daughter, Gabrielle, who died at age 6 in 1999 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.[3][4]


Items with * were written with Dr. Harry Salem II



  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-03-10. Retrieved 2010-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Salem Family Ministries
  3. ^ Tauber, Michelle; Neill, Mike; Russell, Lisa; Fowler, Joanne; Dam, Julie; Tresniowski, Alex; Miller, Samantha; Dougherty, Steve; Yu, Ting (October 16, 2000). "American Beauties: 80 Years". People.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2010-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Kylene Barker
Miss America
Succeeded by
Susan Powell
Preceded by
Cheri Brown
Miss Mississippi
Succeeded by
Sherye Simmons