Nicole Johnson (Miss America)

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Nicole Johnson
Nicole Johnson 2008.png
Nicole Johnson signing autographs at the Miss America 2008 pageant
Born (1974-01-09) January 9, 1974 (age 42)
St. Petersburg, Florida
Alma mater University of South Florida
Regent University
University of Pittsburgh
Occupation Spokesperson
Employer American Diabetes Association
Title Miss Lynchburg Festival 1998
Miss Virginia 1998
Miss America 1999
Predecessor Katherine Shindle
Successor Heather French
Spouse(s) Scott Baker (m. 2003–2008)
Children 1

Nicole Johnson (born January 9, 1974[1]), Miss America 1999 and Miss Virginia 1998, became the first Miss America with diabetes and the first contestant to publicize an insulin pump.[2][3] She now advocates for diabetes research, treatment, and education, having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1993.



Johnson first started competing in pageants in Florida and placed in the Top 10 at Miss Florida in 1995 and was third runner-up in the Miss Florida USA 1995 pageant. After moving to Virginia to pursue post-graduate education at Regent University she continued competing and placed in the top ten at Miss Virginia 1997.[4][5] In March 1998 she won the Miss Lynchburg title and went on to win the Miss Virginia 1998 title on June 29, 1998.[5]

In September Johnson represented Virginia in the Miss America 1999 pageant, becoming the second woman representing that state to win the Miss America title.[6] She sang That's Life in the talent competition.[6]


Johnson holds a BA in English from the University of South Florida and an MA from the School of Communication & the Arts at Regent University in Virginia.[6] She also has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Pittsburgh gained in 2007. In 2013, Johnson received a Doctor of Public Health degree from the University of South Florida.


Congressman Gus Bilirakis meets with Diabetes advocate and former Miss America Nicole Johnson.

Johnson became a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association in the 1990s and had testified in legislative hearings in Washington, D.C. prior to winning the Miss Virginia title.[7] In 1997 she started wearing an insulin pump on her hip to control her illness, which she wore while competing at Miss Virginia and Miss America, the first Miss America contestant and winner to do so.[5][7][8] She was also the first Miss America with diabetes.[9] Prior to winning the Miss America title she had worked for the Christian Broadcasting Network, as well as in diabetes advocacy throughout the Southeastern United States.[10]

Johnson has enjoyed a varied career in diabetes. In 2004, her communication skills and journalism background led her to become the anchor of dLife, a weekly TV series about diabetes that aired on CNBC. Not limited to television media, Johnson has written several books over her career: three cookbooks with Mr. Food, an independent cookbook titled Nicole Johnson's Diabetes Recipe Makeovers, her autobiography titled Living with Diabetes and most recently a book for young adults titled Young Adult Type 1 Diabetes Realities. She continues to work as a diabetes advocate and patient care expert - professionally and in a volunteer capacity. Her consulting clients have included Novo Nordisk, Animas Corporation, AmMed Direct LLC and Eli Lilly and Company. On a volunteer basis, she has served in leadership roles within the JDRF and the American Diabetes Association. Her academic credentials have most recently led her to public health work at the University of South Florida where she is the Executive Director of a program she created called Bringing Science Home. In 2010, Johnson founded Students With Diabetes (SWD), at the University of South Florida, to serve the needs of the young adult population with diabetes.


  1. ^ "Meet Miss Virginia 1998 Nicole Johnson". Miss America Organisation. 1998. Archived from the original on April 23, 1999. 
  2. ^ "A Crown, Scepter & Insulin Pump The New Miss America, Nicole Johnson, Has Drawn Attention To The Device, Which Frees Diabetics From The Strict Scheduling Of Conventional Insulin Regimens. -". October 5, 1998. Retrieved September 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ Kaplan-Mayer, Gabrielle (2003). Insulin Pump Therapy Demystified: An Essential Guide for Everyone Pumping. Marlowe & Co. ISBN 0-7867-3068-4. Retrieved September 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Device helps Miss Lynchburg to stay competitive". The Free Lance-Star. June 28, 1998. 
  5. ^ a b c Associated Press (June 29, 1998). "Diabetic Crowned Miss VA". The Free Lance-Star. 
  6. ^ a b c Curran, John (September 19, 1998). "Miss Virginia Nicole Johnson wins Miss America pageant". Times Daily. 
  7. ^ a b "Virginian wins Miss America pageant". Chicago Tribune. September 20, 1998. Retrieved September 19, 2009. 
  8. ^ "The Reliable Source". The Washington Post. 
  9. ^ Kaplan-Mayer, G.; Scheiner, G. (2009). Insulin Pump Therapy Demystified: An Essential Guide for Everyone Pumping Insulin. Da Capo Press, Incorporated. p. 43. ISBN 9780786730681. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  10. ^ Curran, John (September 21, 1998). "New Miss America 'Never Gave Up'". The Free Lance-Star. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Katherine Shindle
Miss America
Succeeded by
Heather French
Preceded by
Kelli Quick
Miss Virginia
Succeeded by
Nita Booth