1926 Miss America Pageant - Norman Smallwood Miss Oklahoma wins
Miss Tulsa, Oklahoma, Norma Smallwood, was named Miss America 1926. A full blooded Cherokee Indian, Smallwood was the first Native American to win the Miss America title.
Norma Smallwood Miss America 1926 was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, who was embroiled in one scandalous divorce before remarrying a wealthy oilman and enjoying a quiet life.
She traveled extensively as Miss America and is reported to have earned $100,00 during her reign, a substantial figure at the time, and more than either Babe Ruth or the President of the United States*.
She did not crown her successor the following year.
After she reign, in 1928, she married a wealthy oilman and renowned art collector, Thomas Gilcrease, with whom she had a daughter, Des Cygne Lamour (Named after her mother who was born Norma Des Cygne).
In 1936, the couple became embroiled in a scandalous divorce in which the court granted her husband a divorce "on the ground of gross neglect of duty and extreme cruelty" and gave him custody of their four-year-old daughter. According court documents, Smallwood's husband charged that his wife had been "carrying on drinking parties at home", had "allowed various men to take liberties with her person" and committed adultery..."*
After the divorce, Smallwood married George Bruce, a wealthy petroleum executive, founder of Aladdin Middle East and past director of Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company. She died in 1966.
Sources: * Gilcrease v. Gilcrease, Aladdin Middle East Ltd., www.findagrave.com
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