Mrs. America

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Mrs. America Pageant is a beauty competition that was established to honor married women throughout the United States of America. Each of the contestants representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia range in age from their 20s to 50s and earns the right to participate in the national event by winning her state competition. These state events are under the direction of Mrs. America state directors. The winner goes on to compete in the Mrs. World pageant.[1]

Mrs. America, Inc., celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2011. The pageant has been televised on networks including PAX and WE (Women's Entertainment); in May 2011, it was carried by the My Family TV network.

On August 29, 2014, the pageant was held in Lowes Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona. Although it was not carried by a national television channel, the program was accessible via live streaming for a fee of $19.99.

During the 2014 pageant, Mrs. America, Inc., announced that it would be participating in a joint Russian-American contest to be held in Sevastopol, Crimea.[1] This has caused some controversy,[2][3][4] since Crimea is recognized by most countries in the world as Ukrainian territory that has been annexed by Russia.[5] The 2015 joint pageant was supposed to mark the 25th anniversary of a joint U.S.-Soviet Mrs. America contest held in Moscow in 1989 to foster good will between the two countries; however, organizers announced that due to the devaluation of the ruble against the American dollar, the pageant would have to find a new site.

The current titleholder is Mrs. Madeline (Mitchell) Gwin of Alabama.


2004: Traci Clemens, Mrs. Rhode Island, competed while six months pregnant with twins. She was the first visibly pregnant woman to compete in the nationally televised event.[6] [7]


Titleholders are designated by year of reign; tournaments are held the preceding fall.[8]

Year Name State Notes
1977 Ruth Johnson California
1978 Cindy Roberts Alaska
1979 Carrie Gabriel Strom New Jersey
1980 Carol Anne McEwen Texas
1981 Paddy Boyd Argovitz Louisiana
1982 Rhonda McGeeney Texas
1983 Susan Goodman Tennessee
1984 Deborah Wolfe West Virginia 1st runner up to Mrs. World; Mother of Miss West Virginia Teen USA 2004 Mary Ellen Wolfe[9]
1985 Donna Russell Mississippi
1986 Cynthia Amann Florida
1987 Pamela Nail Mississippi Went on to win Mrs. World
1987 Suzy Katz California Originally 1st runner-up to Pamela Nail in 1987, ascended to Mrs. America when Pamela Nail won Mrs. World
1989 Jennifer Kline Minnesota 2nd runner-up at Mrs. World
1990 Jennifer Johnson Oklahoma
1991 Kristianna Nichols Indiana
1992 Dr. Doris Martineaux Dalton Pennsylvania
1993 Keyna Baucom North Carolina
1994 Wendy Lewis Texas
1995 Kimberly Brasher Oklahoma Went on to be 1st runner-up at Mrs. World. Former Ms. Idaho
1996 Cynthia Pensiero Ohio
1997 Lisa Lilenthal New York
1998 Renee Cairns Florida
1999 Starla Stanley Utah Went on to win Mrs. World 2000
1999 Stacy Willis Alabama Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when Starla Stanley won Mrs. World[10]
2000 Leslie Lam Hawaii
2001 Nicole Brink Indiana Went on to win Mrs. World 2002, Previously Miss Indiana Teen USA 1992 (semifinalist in Miss Teen USA 1992) and Miss Indiana USA 1998 under her maiden name, Nicole Llewellyn.
2002 Laurett Ellsworth Arenz Virginia Went on to host a National financial radio program: HERO'S Talk Radio, Freedom Financial Network [1] and write an award winning book: The RAFT Strategy: How to Build Your Tax-Free Nest Egg Without Risk
2003 Kristi Phillips Alabama Was Mrs. America®, Mrs. Congeniality and the TRIMSPA Dream Body Winner. She went on to become Mrs. World 3rd Runner-Up and TRIMSPA Dream Body Winner.
2004 Heidi Dinan Missouri
2005 Julie Love-Templeton Alabama Went on to become Mrs. World 3rd Runner-Up
2006 Andrea Pruess California Previously Miss Virginia Teen USA 1992 & Miss Virginia 1995 (dethroned) under her maiden name, Andrea Ballengee. Filmed for television at the Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Racquet Club in Palm Springs, California[11][12]
2007 Diane Tucker Arizona Went on to win Mrs. World 2007
2007 Marney Duckworth Colorado Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when Diane Tucker won Mrs. World. Previously Miss Nebraska Teen USA 1992 under her maiden name Marney Monson
2008 Kelly McBee Wyoming
2009 Maureen MacDonald North Carolina
2010 Andrea Robertson Missouri
2011 Shelley Carbone[13] Connecticut
2011-12 April Lufriu Florida Went on to win Mrs. World 2011, first-generation American (parents from Honduras)
2011-12 Lara Leimana Fonoimoana Hawaii Originally 1st runner-up, ascended to title when April Lufriu won Mrs. World
2012 Vicki Sarber Alaska Formerly Miss Alaska American Coed 1992-Placed 2nd Runner-Up at National Competition in Honolulu, Hawaii. 1990 Miss Alaska Teen of the Year. Placed 1st Runner Up at National Competition in New Orleans, La.
2013 Austen (Brown) Williams Texas Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2002 (Miss Congeniality)
2013 Kaley Sparling Idaho First Runner up, crowned Mrs. World 2014
2014 Michelle Nicole Evans Oklahoma
2015 Madeline (Mitchell) Gwin Alabama Former Miss Alabama USA 2011 and 2nd runner up for Miss USA 2011


Some contestants in the Mrs. America pageant have previously held state pageant titles in the Miss USA, Miss America, Mrs. United States, and Miss Teen USA pageants. They include:[12][14][15][16][17][18][19]

Forerunner pageant[edit]

Prior to the current Mrs. America pageant, there was an earlier pageant of the same name. The pageant was created by public relations executive Bert Nevins in 1936 as a promotion for his client, Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. When Nevins sold the pageant in 1963, it was the only nationally-televised beauty pageant for married women.[20]

By 1964, participants were graded on cooking, sewing, ironing, party preparation and other homemaking abilities, family psychology, grooming, poise, personality, and general attractiveness. Winners included:
Source: online newspaper archives

  • 1938: Margaret Chamberlain, Ohio (appeared on Family Feud in 1980)
  • 1939: Theresa Papp, New Jersey [21]
  • 1940: Evelyn Schmitt, New Jersey
  • 1941: Ruth Licklider, New York
  • 1942: Peggie Diehl, Minnesota?
  • 1943–46: no pageant (World War II)
  • 1947: Janice Pollock, Ohio; then Fredda Acker, South Carolina (after Pollock abdicated)
  • 1948: Maria Strohmeier, Pennsylvania
  • 1949: Frances Cloyd, California
  • 1950: Betty McAllister, Pennsylvania
  • 1951:
  • 1952: Penny Duncan, New York; Peggy Creel, Florida (judges' contest winner, Creel was the winner; but Duncan was announced)
  • 1953: Evelyn Joyce Schenk, New Jersey
    1965 winner Alice Buehner in 1966
  • 1954: Erna Snyder, Pennsylvania
  • 1955: Wanda Jennings,[22] Missouri [23][24]
  • 1956: Ramona Deitemeyer,[25] Nebraska
  • 1957: Cleo Maletis,[26] Oregon
  • 1958: Lynwood Finley, District of Columbia
  • 1959: Helen Giesse, Ohio
  • 1960: Margaret Priebe, Iowa
  • 1961: Mrs. George Murphy, Indiana
  • 1962: Lila Masson, Michigan
  • 1963: Marilyn Mitchell, California
  • 1964: Deseree Jenkins, South Carolina
  • 1965: Alice Buehner, Utah
  • 1966: Joy Noufer, Texas
  • 1967: Marlene Cochran, Kansas
  • 1968: Joan Fisher, Utah
  • 1969:


  1. ^ a b Mrs. America website
  2. ^ Salon News "Mrs. America goes to Crimea: The pageant that once tried to be trailblazing is a disaster" Sep 5, 2014
  3. ^ Russia Today "Mrs. America 2015 to be held in Crimea, Miss Ukrainian Diaspora pageant objects" Sep 6, 2014
  4. ^ Moscow News: "Mrs. America Defies Politics and Brings Beauty Pageant to Crimea" Sep 5, 2014
  5. ^ UN Website
  6. ^ Pageant News Bureau
  7. ^ The Desert Sun
  8. ^ Mrs. America Titleholders,
  9. ^ West Virginia 2004, TFTJ
  10. ^
  11. ^ Palm Springs Desert Cities Virtual Film Office: Filmed in the Desert Cities
  12. ^ a b "2005 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Mrs America 2010 Results". Mrs. America Pageant. Retrieved September 10, 2010. 
  14. ^ "2010 Mrs America". Retrieved September 10, 2010. 
  15. ^ "2009 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  16. ^ "2008 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  17. ^ "2007 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  18. ^ "2006 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  19. ^ "2004 Mrs America". Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  20. ^ New York Times, July 20, 1966
  21. ^[group]/3/
  22. ^,265936
  23. ^ (appeared in Greyhound Scenicruiser ads and christened the first one with champagne in July 1954 in Pontiac, Michigan; "Mrs. America (Wanda Jennings, of Saint Louis, Missouri) broke a traditional bottle of champagne on the front bumper of F-701 (serial 002)."
  24. ^
  25. ^ Ramona Deitemeyer
  26. ^ Growing Up In The 1950s, the (Portland) Oregonian. The "Mrs. America" title held by Mrs. Maletis is apparently not the same as the one that is the subject of this article, because Mrs. America, Inc. reportedly celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007, making 1977 the first title in the current series. Mrs. Maletis is not listed on the official Mrs. America, Inc. website. See Mrs. America Incorporated, History

External links[edit]