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Rose Veronica Coyle already had some professional theatrical experience when, at age 22, she entered and won Miss Philadelphia, which brought her to Atlantic City and her chance at the Miss America title.
Wearing a short ballet shirt with a white jacket enlivened by huge red polka dots, she sang "I Can't Escape from You," and in size 4B shoes, entered into an eight-minute-long rousing tap dance to "Truckin’” which elicited such wild acclaim from the audience that the judges finally agreed to allow Rose an encore - the competition’s first.
After winning the Miss America title at the famous Steel Pier, Rose was asked if she was tired. "At present, I wouldn't know what the word 'tired’ means. I am just too elated!" she said.
She continued to perform during and after her tenure, including stints with such well-known performers as Abbott and Costello, before her November 1938 marriage to Leonard Schlessinger, the National General Manager of the Warner Brothers Theatres.
When the Second World War broke out in December 1941, the world famous Boardwalk Hall had been given over to the armed forces, threatening the end of Miss America. Rose and her husband stepped in to save the day, and relocated Miss America to the Warner Theatre on the Boardwalk, which remained the competition’s home until 1946.
Blessed with a daughter, Diane, Rose then chose the traditional role of wife and mother, donating her time to educational and charitable endeavors in and around Philadelphia. Widowed, she married executive Robert Dingler and lived a quiet life enjoying her hobbies of riding, golf and swimming until her passing.