Marion Bergeron, Connecticut, 1933 via
Bette Cooper, New Jersey, 1937 via
Marilyn Meseke, Ohio, 1938 via
Gorman was a junior at Western High School in Washington, D.C. when her photo was entered into a popularity contest at the Washington Herald. She was chosen as “Miss District of Columbia” in 1921 at age 16 on account of her athletic ability, past accomplishments, and outgoing personality.
As a result of that victory, she was invited to join the Second Annual Atlantic City Pageant held on September 8, 1921, as an honored guest. There she was invited to join a new event: the “Inter-City Beauty” Contest. She won the titles “Inter-City Beauty, Amateur” and “The Most Beautiful Bathing Girl in America” after competing in the Bather’s Revue. She won the grand prize, the Golden Mermaid trophy.
She was expected to defend her positions the next year, but someone else had attained the title of “Miss Washington, D.C.,” so she was instead crowned as “Miss America.” She is the only Miss America to receive her crown at the end of the year.
1921. Inter-City Beauties Ethel Charles, Nellie Orr and Margaret Gorman at Union Station in Washington, D.C. National Photo Company glass negative via
1921. Miss America was held for the first time to attract tourists to Atlantic City. Margaret Gorman, third on the left via
1921. Portrait of Margaret Gorman standing via
Margaret Gorman in Birmingham car; whose reptilian body has an alligator finish, 1921. National Photo Company glass negative via
Margaret Gorman with Long Goodie, 1925. National Photo Company Collection glass negative, Library of Congress via
The First International Pageant of Pulchritude and Seventh Annual Bathing Girl Revue, was a beauty pageant held from May 15 to May 17, 1926, in Galveston, Texas. The previous editions of the Galveston Bathing Girl Revue had only featured contestants from the United States. However, during the 1926 event, one contestant from Mexico and another from Canada entered, giving the pageant its first international competitors. It was reported that around 160,000 people watched the bathing costume parade on the afternoon of the 16th.
Miss Dallas, Catherine Moylan (1904-1969), won the event, becoming the first Beauty Queen of the Universe. She was already a performer in the Ziegfeld Follies.
For winning, Moylan received $2000, and a gold and silver plaque engraved with “Beauty Queen of the Universe”.
After winning she signed with MGM Studios, and appeared in several silent films before having roles in “Love On The Run” (1930) and “Our Blushing Brides” (1930).
CATHERINE MOYLAN “MISS INTERNATIONAL QUEEN OF PULCHITRUDE, 1926″ (photo credit Movies ink amsterdam flickr) via
MGM Photo of Beauty Queen of the Universe Catherine Moylan via
Catherine Moylan as a ziegfeld girl by Alfred Cheney Johnston via