Laura Kaeppeler

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Laura Kaeppeler
Kaeppeler in Washington, D.C. in 2012
Laura Marie Kaeppeler

(1988-03-02) March 2, 1988 (age 35)
Alma materCarthage College
TitleMiss Kenosha 2010
Miss Southern Wisconsin 2011
Miss Wisconsin 2011
Miss America 2012
TermJanuary 14, 2012 - January 12, 2013
PredecessorTeresa Scanlan
SuccessorMallory Hagan
(m. 2014; sep. 2019)

Laura Marie Kaeppeler (born March 2, 1988) is an American beauty pageant titleholder crowned Miss America 2012 on January 14, 2012, representing the state of Wisconsin.[1] Kaeppeler was the first woman representing Wisconsin to win Miss America since Terry Meeuwsen won Miss America 1973. She was briefly on the board of directors for the Miss America Organization.


Kaeppeler was born to Jeff and Sue Kaeppeler in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In 2009 Kaeppeler won the title of Miss Kenosha. She then went on to win the talent preliminary award and was second runner-up to Miss Wisconsin 2010, Kimberly Sawyer. One year later Kaeppeler won the title of Miss Southern Wisconsin 2010. At the 2011 Miss Wisconsin Pageant, she won the preliminary talent award, which she tied with Raeanna Johnson, who later took over the Miss Wisconsin title after Laura won Miss America.[2] She attended St. Joseph High School and Carthage College, where she graduated in 2010 with a degree in music.[3][4]

Miss America 2012 pageant[edit]

Kaeppeler was Wisconsin's representative at the Miss America 2012 competition held in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Theatre for the Performing Arts of Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on January 14, 2012.[5]

In the preliminary competition, Kaeppeler won the talent portion and a $2,000 scholarship with her rendition of the Luigi Arditi waltz "Il Bacio".[6][7] She chose a platform of supporting and mentoring children of incarcerated parents, as her father served 18 months in prison for mail fraud.[6]

In the lifestyle and fitness competition, she wore a white bikini, and for her evening gown, Kaeppeler wore a black customized Tony Bowls beaded dress.[6]

In the final round, judge Lara Spencer asked Kaeppeler if beauty queens should declare their political viewpoint. Kaeppeler then answered, "Miss America represents everyone, so I think the message to political candidates is that they represent everyone as well. And so in these economic times, we need to be looking forward to what America needs, and I think Miss America needs to represent all."[8] Kaeppeler beat out first runner-up Miss Oklahoma 2011, Betty Thompson, for the title of Miss America 2012 and was crowned by Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan.[1] Along with the title of Miss America, she also won a $50,000 scholarship.

Miss America role[edit]

Kaeppeler in 2013

Kaeppeler met President Obama through a joint meeting with the Children's Miracle Network Hospital Champions at the White House.[9] Obama previously met with Miss America 2009 Katie Stam and Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron during similar events.[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

On April 6, 2014, Kaeppeler married television producer Mike Fleiss, who was a judge at the Miss America 2012 pageant which Kaeppeler won.[12][13] The couple's son, Benjamin, was born in May 2015,[14] and second son George was born in 2020. Kaeppeler is currently the co-host of the Health Interrupted Podcast with celebrity fitness trainer Gina Lombardi.


  1. ^ a b "Miss America pageant crowns 2012 winner". USA Today. January 14, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  2. ^ "Miss America"[permanent dead link] Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  3. ^ "The Official Miss Wisconsin Pageant" Archived 2012-01-20 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  4. ^ "Miss America". Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  5. ^ "Miss America Pageant Back on Network Television!". Miss America Organization. May 24, 2010. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c "Miss Wisconsin wins Miss America pageant". FOX News. January 14, 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  7. ^ "Miss Wisconsin Laura Kaeppeler wins talent preliminary in Miss America pageant". Green Bay Press Gazette. January 12, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
  8. ^ "Laura Kaeppeler Miss America 2012". Laura Kaeppeler. May 20, 2021. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  9. ^ "Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler Meets President Barack Obama at the White House for the Annual Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Celebration". Miss America. September 19, 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-10-17.
  10. ^ "Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron Joins Children's Miracle Network to Meet with President Obama". Miss America. June 11, 2010. Archived from the original on 2013-10-17.
  11. ^ "Miss America 2009 Katie Stam Joins Children's Miracle Network to Meet with President Obama". Miss America. March 25, 2009. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013.
  12. ^ "Mike Fleiss Marries Laura Kaeppeler". People Magazine. April 9, 2014.
  13. ^ "Miss America: Press Releases: The 2012 Miss America Pageant National Judges Announced Today on Good Morning America!". Miss America Organization. December 7, 2011. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013.
  14. ^ "Laura Kaeppeler announces birth of son Benjamin on Instagram". Laura Kaeppeler. May 10, 2015. Archived from the original on 2021-12-24.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Miss America
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Kimberly Sawyer
Miss Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Raeanna Johnson