Guillemette Pleasant

Written by Guillemette Pleasant

Modified & Updated: 09 Jul 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Bess Myerson, the iconic American actress and television personality, remains one of the most intriguing figures in the entertainment industry. With her undeniable talent, charm, and beauty, she captured the hearts of millions around the world. However, there is much more to Bess Myerson than meets the eye. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Bess Myerson and uncover 22 mind-blowing facts about her life and career. From her rise to fame to her philanthropic endeavors, Bess Myerson left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry and beyond. So, sit back, relax, and prepare to be amazed by these little-known facts about the extraordinary Bess Myerson.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bess Myerson, the first Jewish Miss America, broke barriers and inspired others through her advocacy for civil rights, women’s rights, and mental health awareness.
  • Despite facing controversy, Bess Myerson’s legacy as a trailblazer and advocate for social justice continues to inspire and empower others to overcome challenges and make a positive impact on society.
Table of Contents

Bess Myerson was the first Jewish Miss America.

Bess Myerson made history in 1945 when she became the first Jewish woman to win the Miss America pageant.

She was born and raised in the Bronx, New York.

Bess Myerson was born on July 16, 1924, in the Bronx, New York, and grew up in a middle-class Jewish family.

Myerson had an impressive educational background.

She graduated from Hunter College with a degree in political science and later earned a Master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

Bess Myerson was a passionate advocate for civil rights.

Throughout her life, she actively fought for racial equality and worked closely with prominent civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Roy Wilkins.

She had a successful career in television.

After her reign as Miss America, Bess Myerson went on to have a successful career in television, hosting shows such as “The Bess Myerson Show” and “The Big Payoff.”

Myerson was a trailblazer for women in politics.

She was appointed as the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs by New York City Mayor John Lindsay, making her the first woman to hold a commissioner-level position in the city.

Bess Myerson was known for her philanthropic work.

Throughout her life, she actively contributed to various charitable causes and established the Bess Myerson Foundation to support education and the arts.

Myerson faced controversy in her personal life.

She was involved in a highly publicized scandal in the 1980s, which involved allegations of bribery and influence peddling.

She was a talented musician.

Not only was Bess Myerson a beauty queen and TV personality, but she was also an accomplished pianist.

Myerson was an advocate for mental health awareness.

She openly discussed her own struggles with depression and worked to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Bess Myerson received numerous awards and honors.

Her achievements and contributions were recognized with awards such as the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

She served as a role model for many young women.

Bess Myerson’s groundbreaking achievements and dedication to social causes inspired generations of women to break barriers and make a difference.

Myerson was a staunch supporter of Israel.

She actively campaigned for the rights of Jews and was involved in various pro-Israel organizations throughout her life.

Bess Myerson made guest appearances on popular television shows.

She appeared on shows like “The Love Boat” and “The Cosby Show,” showcasing her acting skills and versatile personality.

She authored a book about her life experiences.

Bess Myerson wrote an autobiography titled “Miss America, 1945: Bess Myerson and the Year That Changed Our Lives.”

Myerson was known for her elegance and fashion sense.

She was admired for her impeccable style and often served as a fashion icon for many women.

Bess Myerson was an influential voice in politics.

She actively supported candidates and causes she believed in, using her platform to effect change.

She was a dedicated public servant.

Throughout her career, Bess Myerson worked tirelessly to serve the public and make a positive impact in her community.

Myerson was a strong advocate for women’s rights.

She fought for equal opportunities and worked towards breaking down gender barriers in various industries.

Bess Myerson had a lasting impact on American culture.

Her contributions as a beauty queen, TV personality, and political figure left an indelible mark on the fabric of American society.

She remained a respected figure despite the controversies surrounding her.

Bess Myerson’s legacy as a trailblazer and advocate for social justice continued to be acknowledged and celebrated by many.

Myerson’s life serves as an inspiration.

Her journey from a young girl in the Bronx to becoming a symbol of empowerment and change reminds us that anything is possible with determination and perseverance.


After learning these 22 mind-blowing facts about Bess Myerson, it’s clear that she was truly a remarkable and influential figure. From her groundbreaking achievements as the first Jewish Miss America to her successful career in politics and activism, Myerson left an indelible mark on American history. Her dedication to civil rights and social justice, as well as her unwavering commitment to her beliefs, serve as an inspiration to us all.

Throughout her life, Myerson faced numerous challenges and barriers but managed to overcome them with grace and resilience. Her contributions to the entertainment industry, philanthropy, and public service will long be remembered, making her a true trailblazer and role model. Bess Myerson will forever be remembered as an iconic and influential figure, shaping the course of history and leaving an enduring legacy.


Q: What is Bess Myerson best known for?

A: Bess Myerson is best known for being the first Jewish woman to win the Miss America pageant in 1945. This groundbreaking achievement brought her fame and recognition, opening doors for her successful career in entertainment, politics, and advocacy.

Q: What were Bess Myerson’s contributions to politics?

A: Bess Myerson served as New York City’s Commissioner of Consumer Affairs under Mayor John Lindsay, where she played a significant role in protecting consumer rights and advocating for fair practices. She also ran for the U.S. Senate in 1980, although she was ultimately unsuccessful.

Q: Did Bess Myerson have a philanthropic side?

A: Yes, Bess Myerson was actively involved in philanthropy throughout her life. She was passionate about various causes, including education, healthcare, and supporting underserved communities. Myerson dedicated her time and resources to numerous charitable organizations, making a positive impact on the lives of many.

Q: What obstacles did Bess Myerson face during her career?

A: Bess Myerson faced several obstacles during her career, including anti-Semitism and gender discrimination. Despite these challenges, she never let them deter her from pursuing her goals and making a difference. Myerson’s resilience and determination served as a testament to her strength and character.

Q: What is Bess Myerson’s legacy?

A: Bess Myerson’s legacy extends far beyond her crowning achievement as Miss America. She paved the way for future generations of women and Jewish individuals in the entertainment industry and politics. Her unwavering commitment to social justice and advocacy continues to inspire and empower others to this day.

Bess Myerson's life story captivates, yet other remarkable individuals await discovery. Delve into the journey of another Miss America, Phyllis George, whose charm and tenacity left an indelible mark. For a lighthearted take on beauty pageants, explore the hilarious movie Miss Congeniality, packed with surprising trivia. And for those intrigued by political scandals, Monica Lewinsky's story offers a fascinating glimpse into a defining moment in American history. Each tale offers unique insights, revealing the complexities and triumphs of extraordinary lives.

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