Heather French Henry

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Heather French Henry
Heather French headshot.png
Second Lady of Kentucky
In role
October 27, 2000 – December 9, 2003
Lieutenant GovernorSteve Henry
Preceded byJudi Patton
Succeeded byRuth Ann Cox
Personal details
Heather Renee French

(1974-12-29) December 29, 1974 (age 44)
Political partyDemocratic
Steve Henry (m. 2000)
EducationUniversity of Cincinnati (BA, MDes)

Heather Renee French Henry (born December 29, 1974)[1] is a Miss America title holder, personality, fashion designer and veterans advocate. She is married to former Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Steve Henry.[2]


Raised in Augusta, Kentucky, Heather French Henry graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. She competed in pageants through her teens, including the Miss Ohio pageant. She competed in the Miss Kentucky Pageant four times before winning the title on her fifth attempt in 1999. She won the 2000 Miss America pageant in September 1999, the first Kentuckian to do so. Her platform for her reign was raising awareness of homeless veterans; her father was a wounded veteran of the Vietnam War. She has received numerous awards for her work with veterans.[3]

On October 27, 2000, she married Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Steve Henry, 21 years her senior, in Louisville, Kentucky.[4] The couple have two daughters, Harper Renee (born 2001) and Taylor Augusta (born 2003).[5]

In October 2003, French Henry struck and subsequently killed Karola Stede, 44, a native of Germany and mother of four who was crossing against the traffic light in a Louisville intersection. French said that the accident deeply affected her, and she subsequently recounted her story in venues such as The Oprah Winfrey Show.[6]

In November of 2007 she was named to Kentucky Governor-elect Steve Beshear's transition team.[7]

French Henry participated in Don't Forget the Lyrics episode that aired on December 12, 2008, appearing with Susan Powell (Miss America 1981) and Kirsten Haglund (Miss America 2008).

On June 26, 2010, French Henry hosted the Miss Virginia pageant in Roanoke, Virginia.

On July 1, 2014, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Henry Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs.[8]

She is the 2019 Democratic candidate for Kentucky Secretary of State.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kentucky Birth Index, 1911-1999". Ancestry.com. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
  2. ^ Contributor, Tops Louisville. "There She Is". www.topslouisville.com. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  3. ^ "Miss America : 2000". Archived from the original on 2008-09-20.
  4. ^ Ex-Miss America becomes Mrs. Steve Henry today
  5. ^ "Louisville Wedding-Weddings in Louisville-Louisville-Kentucky". Louisville Wedding-Weddings in Louisville-Louisville-Kentucky. Archived from the original on 2008-12-04.
  6. ^ "Heather French Henry relives pain on 'Oprah'".
  7. ^ "Richmond Businessman Lee Murphy to Serve on Governor's Transition Team" (Press release). Richmond, Kentucky: Chapel Communications. November 16, 2007. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  8. ^ "Veterans Affairs : KDVA Commissioner".
  9. ^ WKYT: Heather French Henry wins Democratic nod for Secretary of State

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Chera-Lyn Cook
Miss Kentucky
Succeeded by
Shanna Kari Moore
Preceded by
Nicole Johnson
Miss America
Succeeded by
Angela Perez Baraquio