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BeBe Shopp Waring was crowned Miss America of 1948 after winning the Miss Minnesota Pageant that same year. She was the first Miss America to be crowned in an evening dress after the pageant was resurrected in 1935 and the first to be Mistress of Ceremonies for local and state pageants. The scholarship she received from the Miss America pageant afforded her the opportunity to study at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music where she graduated with a degree in percussion in 1952.
Her continued involvement in the Pageant Program has included being a judge for local and state competitions, a New England Representative, a National Preliminary Judge for the 1953 and 1991 Miss America Pageants, a board member of the Miss Massachusetts Scholarship Foundation (1982-1996), and a National Judge for Miss America's Quality of Life Program (2009). She has also made frequent guest appearances throughout the years on television and radio programs in New England and nationally for the Miss America Pageant and Drug Abuse Prevention. From 1953 to 1954, she was the host of her own half hour television show in Minnesota.
Recently, in the fall of 2009, she and five of her "Pageant Sisters" went to Afghanistan to entertain and support the troops. For the past few years, she has lent her talents performing and staging shows for "Share The Music," which produces programs from the American Song Book and Broadway. Two years ago, they performed songs from WW II and have now produced it six times in the Boston area. As an active member in her community, Bebe is the current Board President of the Gloucester Stage Company, a professional non-profit theater company, and a Lay Minister in the Episcopal Church. Married to her husband, Bayard, for 62 years, she is the mother of four accomplished daughters and grandmother to nine beautiful grandchildren, two of whom will be married this summer.
Where are they now?
BeBe is still very involved as Board President of the Gloucester Stage Co. (GSC) in Gloucester, Mass. For their Spring Fundraiser Gala in June, she invited Lee Meriwether and Susan Powell to entertain. In answering the question, "How were the judging procedures in '81, '55 & '48 different from today?" they told what they were like. They sang the Bernie Wayne song, "Miss America Sisters" and then put their own spin on Berlin's "Sisiter". Susan followed singing selections from her new CD. That weekend, Lee performed her one woman show, "Woman of Spoon River". SHARE THE MUSIC is BeBe's other interest and in Speakeasy setting at GSC in June, they performed their Roaring 20's Program. In May, the family gathered at West Point for Grandson Brad Kelly's Graduation. BeBe and her husband became Great Grandparents of Joey Kelly, born July12, 2012.