1949 Miss America Pageant - Jacque Mercer Miss Arizona wins
Miss America 1949 was Jacque Mercer, Miss Arizona, who grew up on the X-Bar-X ranch in Litchfield, Arizona. Crowned on September 11, 1949, she performed a drama, "Romeo and Juliet", in full costume in the talent competition.
Jacque Mercer, Miss Arizona, was named Miss America 1949. She married her high school sweetheart during her reign.
Jacque's reign was an unusual one, with her marrying - and divorcing - her high school boyfriend Douglas Cook during her reign, making her her the last titleholder to marry during her reign.
She returned to crown her successor, Yolande Betbeze, Miss Alabama, who was crowned Miss America 1951 (the first post-dated title)
With Jacque's encouragement that titleholders needed to be protected from rash decisions, pageant officials enacted a new rule barring Miss Americas from marrying during their reigns.
According to an article in the Herald-Journal in 1967, Mercer "was able to pick herself up after two quick, unsuccessful marriages in three years, go back to college, and make the Dean's List."*
While attending Arizona State University, Mercer met Richard P. (Dick) Curran, an ASC All-American football star who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. In 1953, they married and she later worked with him his Arizona advertising agency, the Curran Company.
The last Miss America to have been born outside of a hospital, Jacque died in 1982 at age 50.
Sources: Herald-Journal, "There She Is" by Frank DeFord, Miss America: In Pursuit of the Crown
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