Biography of Bess Myerson
Bess Myerson (born July 16, 1924 in the Bronx, New York) became the first Jewish woman to win the Miss America pageant in 1945. She appeared on various television shows in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s, she was involved in New York City politics.
While competing in beauty pageants, Myerson refused, despite entreaties, to use a pseudonym that "sounded less Jewish." She faced prejudice even after winning the Miss America title, with many sponsors and events long associated with the pageant refusing to deal with her. She later campaigned for civil rights, in particular, working with the Anti-Defamation League.
In 1954, Myerson was a panelist on The Name's the Same, a television game show. From 1958 through 1967, she was a panelist on I've Got a Secret. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Myerson enjoyed a successful television career as a TV personality, actress and commercial pitchwoman for myriad popular products.