Donna Axum

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Donna Idelle Axum
Born (1942-01-03) January 3, 1942 (age 76)
El Dorado, Arkansas, U.S.A.
Alma mater University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
Occupation University instructor, author, TV executive producer, TV hostess, professional speaker, civic leader
Title Miss America 1964
Predecessor Jacquelyn Mayer
Successor Vonda Kay Van Dyke
Spouse(s) Michael Alan Buckley
Gus Franklin Mutscher
J. Bryan Whitworth

Donna Idelle Axum (born January 3, 1942, in El Dorado, Arkansas) is an American beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss America in 1964.

Axum from El Dorado, Arkansas, now lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and is a member of the boards of the National Committee for the Performing Arts of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Fort Worth Symphony, the Van Cliburn Foundation, named for the late pianist formerly from Shreveport, Louisiana, and the Texas Christian University College of Fine Arts Board of Visitors.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Axum first married Michael Alan Buckley and had one child, Lisa. She divorced Buckley and married Gus Franklin Mutscher who served as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives from 1969 to 1972 and later as the Washington County judge. The pair divorced. She married J. Bryan Whitworth in 1984. He had been executive vice president of ConocoPhillips. The Whitworths live in Fort Worth, Texas.[2]


Axum has held many titles since serving as Miss America: university instructor, author, television executive producer and TV hostess, professional speaker and civic leader. Her Miss America scholarship was used to complete her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in Speech/Drama, Television and Film. While there, she was a member of the Delta Iota Chapter of Delta Delta Delta. In 1988, Axum was named a Distinguished Alumnus of UA and serves on its National Development Council. She also served on the steering committee of a seven-year capital campaign that raised more than $1.046 billion for the university.[3]

Heavily involved in the arts on the local, state and national levels, Donna serves as chair of the executive committee for the National Committee for the Performing Arts for the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. She also serves on the executive committees of the Fort Worth Symphony and the Van Cliburn Foundation and the Texas Christian University College of Fine Arts Board of Visitors. At the state level, Donna is Chair of the Texas Cultural Trust, the 501c3 arm of the Texas Commission on the Arts and a founder of Texas Women for the Arts.


Her faith is a stronghold of her life and is reflected in her service to the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as an Advisory Board Member where she works in the areas of development and women's ministries. She is also a member of the choir of Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth.


Currently, she is a member of the Advisory Council of the Dallas/Fort Worth World Affairs Council. She is married to J. Bryan Whitworth, a retired Executive Vice President of ConocoPhillips and now a counsel of Wachtell, Lipton, Rozen and Katz, a New York City law firm specializing in mergers and acquitions. They celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on March 1, 2009. Collectively, they have five children and ten grandchildren.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Miss America History 1964". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2006-12-31. 
  2. ^ Hendricks, Nancy. "Donna Axum Whitworth (1942–)". The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  3. ^ Kinch, Jr., Sam; Procter, Ben (1972). Texas Under a Cloud: Story of the Texas Stock Fraud Scandal. Jenkins. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jacquelyn Mayer
Miss America
Succeeded by
Vonda Kay Van Dyke
Preceded by
Edye Addington
Miss Arkansas
Succeeded by
Pam Jackson