Sharlene Wells Hawkes

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Sharlene Wells Hawkes
Sharlene Wells-Hawkes.jpg
Born Sharlene Wells
(1964-03-16) March 16, 1964 (age 52)
Asunción, Paraguay
Alma mater Brigham Young University
Occupation Singer
Title Miss Utah Valley 1984
Miss Utah 1984
Miss America 1985
Predecessor Suzette Charles
Successor Susan Akin
Spouse(s) Robert A. Hawkes

Sharlene Wells Hawkes (born 16 March 1964), from Salt Lake City, Utah, was Miss America 1985.

Family and early life[edit]

Hawkes (née Wells), was born in Asunción, Paraguay and spent most of her childhood in Mexico, Chile and Ecuador. She was the first foreign-born, bilingual Miss America.[1] She spent most of her teenaged years in Buenos Aires, Argentina.[2] When she won the Miss America title, her parents were living in Holladay, Utah a suburb of Salt Lake City. Being crowned Miss America was seen by some as an antidote to the scandal associated with the prior year's winner.[3] In 1985, Deseret Book published a biography of Wells, written by Sheri Dew.

Hawkes is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). She attended Brigham Young University (BYU) from which she graduated in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in communications.[4]

Miss America[edit]

The choice of Wells as Miss America was widely seen as a way to overcome the scandal connected with her predecessor. Wells publicly stated her support for the reelection of Ronald Reagan, support for pro-life positions, opposition to pre-marital sex and to the Equal Rights Amendment.[5]

Education and career[edit]

Hawkes is the author, or co-author, of several books. This includes a book written by Hawkes and Barbara Barrington Jones entitled The Inside Outside Beauty Book (1989), Living in but not of The World (1997), and Kissing a Frog: Four Steps to Finding Comfort Outside Your Comfort Zone. She is also a singer and has released albums called When We Will All Believe (1994) and Songs of the Morning Stars (1996).

Hawkes holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications from the University of Utah.[6]

Hawkes was a horse racing and college football reporter with ESPN from 1987 to 2002.

Since 2007, Hawkes has worked to help veterans and their families. This includes an to bring wives and daughters of veterans killed in the line of duty to the Miss America Pageant.[7]

In 2015 Hawkes was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Defense to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Armed Forces.[8]

As of August 2016, Hawkes is serving as Executive Vice President of Story Rock Electronic Publishing, and as president of its military division, Remember My Service, producing historical records for military personnel.[9]

Hawkes is slated to serve as a judge for the Miss America 2017 competition.[10]


  1. ^ "Miss America: 1985". Miss America. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  2. ^ "Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services - Sharlene Hawkes". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  3. ^ Knight-Rider article
  4. ^ Crowning Achievements, BYU magazine
  5. ^ Karen W. Tice, Queens of Academe: Beauty Pageantry, Student Bodies, and College Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 167-168
  6. ^ TRUDI GILFILLIAN. "Miss America 1985 took crown in wake of Vanessa Williams controversy". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  7. ^ Lee Benson "About Utah: Former Miss America Sharlene Wells Hawkes treats veterans like royalty", Deseret News, March 30, 2014
  8. ^ Kreis, Bridget (10 February 2015). "LDS Woman Appointed to Department of Defense Advisory Committee". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  9. ^ "Sharlene Wells Hawks". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  10. ^ "Mark Cuban, Sara Foster, Cole Swindell, And Former Miss America Sharlene Wells Hawkes Tapped As First Round Of Judges For The 96th Miss America Competition Live Broadcast". 1 August 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 


Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Suzette Charles
Miss America
Succeeded by
Susan Akin
Preceded by
Lynn Lambert
Miss Utah
Succeeded by
Nancy Ayers