Debbye Turner

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Debbye Turner
Debbye Turner headshot.png
Born (1965-09-19) September 19, 1965 (age 52)
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Alma mater Arkansas State University
University of Missouri
Occupation Veterinarian and talk show host
Title Miss Missouri 1989
Miss America 1990
Predecessor Gretchen Carlson
Successor Marjorie Vincent
Awards Miss Arkansas State University 1985

Debbye Turner Bell (born September 19, 1965 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is an American TV anchor, veterinarian, talk show host, former beauty queen and winner of the 1990 Miss America pageant three days before her 24th birthday.

Debbye Turner, raised in Jonesboro, Arkansas, was first runner-up at the Miss Arkansas Pageant, a state preliminary competition for the Miss America program in 1988. In the summer of 1989, she won the Miss Missouri title and went on to win the 1990 Miss America crown. Turner was the third African-American national titleholder and the first—and as of 2017, the only—Miss Missouri to be crowned Miss America.[1]

Turner earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree from Arkansas State University, and attended the University of Missouri. Turner also spent a couple of years honing her public service skills working for Safeway Stores. In 1991, she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine.[2] She became a spokesperson for Purina and pursued a career in veterinary medicine before going into television.

Turner's first hosting job came at St. Louis' NBC affiliate KSDK, on a show called Show Me St. Louis in 1995. Six years later, Turner joined CBS News as a feature correspondent then became their "resident veterinarian" and a fill-in anchor. Turner was also a fill-in anchor on the CBS Morning News. Turner left CBS in 2012. She's currently the host of Arise America, on Arise News.

She has also appeared on Animal Planet's Cats 101 and Dogs 101 series.

Turner is a singer, pianist, and skilled percussionist, evidenced by her marimba rendition of '"Flight of the Bumblebee"' in the talent portion of the 1990 Miss America contest. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

Debbye Turner's older sister, Suzette Turner, is married to Houston megachurch pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell.


  1. ^ "Miss America 1990 Debbye Turner: A Profile of Success". 1989-09-16. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  2. ^ Hendricks, Nancy. "Debbye Turner (1965– )". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Gretchen Carlson
Miss America
Succeeded by
Marjorie Vincent
Preceded by
Heather Smith
Miss Missouri
Succeeded by
Pat Meusburger
Preceded by
Melissa Aggeles
National Sweetheart
Succeeded by
Mairead O'Connor