1937 Miss America Pageant
Pageant Results > Miss America Pageant > 1937 Bette Cooper
Bette Cooper, Miss Bertrand Island, New Jersey, was named Miss America 1937 after entering the local Miss Bertrand Island contest on a dare from friends. Although a Talent Competition would not be added as an official phase of competition until the following year, Cooper did perform in an optional talent event where she sang "When The Poppies Bloom Again".
Bette Cooper, Miss Bertrand Island, was named Miss America 1937... and promptly disappeared with her handsome bachelor chaperone.
In an ironic twist, King Edward VIII, had recently given up the throne of England to marry his lover, Mrs. Wallis Simpson, a married American woman who was not only an American, but also a divorcee. Predictably, the media immediately assumed that Bette's disappearance was another case of royalty abdicating the throne for love.
The truth was far less dramatic; the teenager simply didn't want to leave high school to tour the country, as winners were expected to do.
Once she surfaced, the queen kept the title, but quietly returned home to resume her studies. After graduating, Cooper married engineer William Moore, with whom she had two children, William and Cheryl.
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