Miss America

Jo-Carroll Dennison

Miss America 1942
Miss Texas 1942

Jo-Carroll Dennison

Dennison, a self-supported student at the Federal Institute in Tyler was lured into competing in the Miss Tyler pageant by the offer of a free swimsuit from Swartz Department store. She won the pageant, and reluctantly agreed to represent Tyler in the Miss East Texas pageant. As Miss East Texas, Dennison then competed in the Miss Texas held at Austin Stadium in August 1942, where she won her third pageant crown.

Unenthusiastic at the idea of competing in state pageants, Dennison then faced a three-day train trip to compete for the title of Miss America in Atlantic City, NJ. She won both the swimsuit and talent sections of the contest, and ultimately the Miss America crown. Dennison later moved to California and signed with Twentieth Century Fox and became a successful actress. Briefly married to comedian Phil Silvers, 1945-1950, she later married Russell Stoneham, and raised a family.


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