Miss USA 1988

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Miss USA 1988
Date March 1, 1988
Presenters Alan Thicke and Tracy Scoggins
Venue El Paso Civic Center, El Paso, Texas
Broadcaster CBS, KDBC-TV
Entrants 51
Placements 10
Winner Courtney Gibbs
Texas Texas
Congeniality Elva Anderson
Washington, D.C. District of Columbia
Best State Costume Lagracella Omran
Nevada Nevada
Photogenic Rowanne Brewer
Maryland Maryland

Miss USA 1988, the 37th Miss USA pageant, was televised live from the El Paso Civic Center in El Paso, Texas on March 1, 1988. At the conclusion of the final competition, Courtney Gibbs of Texas was crowned Miss USA, becoming the fourth consecutive winner from Texas.[1]

The pageant was hosted by Growing Pains star Alan Thicke, the first time in twenty years that Bob Barker did not host, and the pageant commentator was Tracy Scoggins.[2] Barker, an animal rights activist, refused to be involved because one of the winner's prizes was a fur coat.[3] There had been controversy surrounding the fur coats since the previous year, and Barker claimed he had asked pageant officials not to give away coats for years but that he had been ignored.[4] Other animal rights activists threatened to picket the pageant in protest at its fur policy and disrupted a pre-pageant press conference.[5][6] In an unrelated attack, Scoggins was attacked in an elevator following pageant rehearsals. The attacker was charged with attempted sexual assault.[7]

This was the first time that the pageant was held in Texas and the only time it was ever held in El Paso. El Paso had hosted the Miss Teen USA 1987 pageant the previous year, and it was announced in November 1987 that the city would likely host Miss USA 1988.[8]


Map showing placements by state


Final Results Contestant
Miss USA 1988
1st runner-up
2nd runner-up
3rd runner-up
4th runner-up
Top 10

Special awards[edit]

Award Contestant
Miss Congeniality
Miss Photogenic
Best State Costume

Final competition[edit]

Preliminary swimsuit scores[edit]

The following is the contestants average scores in the Preliminary swimsuit competition.


The Miss USA 1988 delegates were:

Contestant notes[edit]

  • Two contestants had previously competed in the Miss Teen USA pageant. They were Kris Keim (Arizona), who was Miss Arizona Teen USA 1983, and Melissa Staples (Arkansas), who was Miss Arkansas Teen USA 1984
  • Two contestants had previously competed in the Miss America 1986 pageant. They were Mary Kay Anderson (Wisconsin), formerly Miss Wisconsin 1985 and Monica Farrell (Florida), formerly Miss Florida 1985.
  • Prior to the pageant Suzanne Pitman (Kentucky) was arrested on a drunk-driving charge but allowed to compete in the pageant.[14]
  • Miss Minnesota USA winner Sue Bolich resigned her title one week after she was arrested for shoplifting.[15][16] The other pageant contestants were already in El Paso at the time of her resignation, and first runner-up Jolene Stavrakis was to be sent in Bolich's place. However, Stavrakis also had a previous shoplifting charge on her record, and she too withdrew from the pageant.[17] Julie Nelson, second runner-up in the state pageant, assumed the title and represented Minnesota at Miss USA.[18]



  1. ^ "Miss Texas, Again, Wins Miss USA Crown". The Associated Press. 1988-03-01. 
  2. ^ United Press International (1988-02-21). "El Paso hosts a blemished USA contest". Houston Chronicle. p. 32. 
  3. ^ "Barker resigns in pageant furor". USA Today. 1988-01-12. 
  4. ^ "Host Bob Barker Pulls Out of Miss Universe Pageant in Fur Controversy". Associated Press. 1988-01-12. 
  5. ^ United Press International (1988-02-12). "Animal lovers planning protest of Miss USA pageant fur coat prize". Houston Chronicle. p. 10. 
  6. ^ Lewis, Holden (1988-02-26). "Animal-Rights Activist Disrupts Miss USA News Conference". Associated Press. 
  7. ^ Lewis, Holden (1988-02-26). "Miss USA Pageant Host Assaulted in Elevator". Associated Press. 
  8. ^ Associated Press (1987-11-06). "El Paso is considered top contender for Miss USA pageant". The Dallas Morning News. p. 31A. 
  9. ^ "Here's Miss Photogenic". Chicago Sun-Times. 1988-02-28. 
  10. ^ Bizjak, Tony (1987-10-01). "Bringing Up Beauty / In the months before the Miss USA Pageant, advisers work on Miss California". The San Francisco Chronicle. p. B3. 
  11. ^ Associated Press (1987-08-07). "New Miss Florida-USA crowned, but couch potatoes couldn't see it". St. Petersburg Times. p. 5B. 
  12. ^ Associated Press (1988-01-11). "Omahan to Seek Miss USA Title". The Omaha World-Herald. 
  13. ^ Associated Press (1987-08-04). "Metroplex beauty wins Miss Texas". Houston Chronicle. p. 10. 
  14. ^ "Miss Kentucky USA Arrested on Drunken Driving Charges". Associated Press. 1988-01-18. 
  15. ^ "Miss Minnesota-USA Arrested On Theft Charge". Associated Press. 1988-01-30. 
  16. ^ "Miss USA-Minnesota Resigns Title". Associated Press. 1988-02-08. 
  17. ^ "Second Beauty Queen Withdraws Over Shoplifting". The Associated Press. 1988-02-10. 
  18. ^ Furst, Randy (1988-02-11). "3rd Miss Minnesota-USA has `nothing to hide'". Star-Tribune Newspaper of the Twin Cities Mpls.-St. Paul. p. 01A. 

External links[edit]