Miss World History

Miss America 1921 – Margaret Gorman

The United States has continuously sent a representative to Miss World since its inception in 1951. The United States have won the Miss World crown three times in 1973, 1990 and 2010. Currently, America’s Miss World is the official national pageant that selects the contestant from the United States to Miss World.

During the mid 1950s the 1st-runner up of Miss USA went to compete at Miss World (1953–57). Alfred Patricelli of Bridgeport, Connecticut, was the Executive Director of the Miss World USA during its existence from 1958 to 1977. From 1958 to 1961, the winner of Miss United States competed at Miss World. Then from 1962 to 1966 Alfred Patricelli organized the Miss USA World pageant annually. In 1967, the pageant was renamed Miss World USA and was held every year until 1977.

Miss America contestants in 1939 wore swimsuits, sashes designating the state they represented, and high heels while walking in the sand.

During this time, Miss World USA 1969 Gail Renshaw was the first person to resign from the title of “Miss World USA” after competing in Miss World 1969 in order to get married. Also in 1973, Marjorie Wallace won the Miss World title and became the first American woman to win the Miss World title. Between 1978 through 1980, BBS Productions, Inc., based in New York City, was given the franchise for the Miss World pageant where Griff O’Neil was the organizer, during this time the pageant was named “Miss World America”.

From 1981 to 1991, the Miss Universe organization were the license holders, and the American representative to Miss World ended up being the 1st runner-up of the Miss USA pageant. The Miss World Organization however wanted a public announcement during the finals of the Miss USA pageant that the 1st Runner-up would be going to Miss World, but they refused to do so. Therefore, after 1991 the Miss World Organization did not accept any more Miss USA 1st Runners-up.

The winner of the 1945 Miss America pageant, 21-year-old Bess Myerson of New York

From 1992 to 1997, Richard Guy and Rex Holt (GuyRex) were the national directors of Miss World in the United States and organized the Miss World America pageant in 1992 and 1993 and a Miss United States in 1994. They discontinued the pageant in 1995 but handpicked a representative from 1995 to 1997. In 1998, Hirsh Wilck succeeded GuyRex and became the license holder and sent contestants from 1998 to 2000.

Miss Chicago 1955 with other contestants for Miss America

In 2001, the Miss World organization asked Pageantry Magazine to choose a contestant for Miss World 2001 since they did not have a license holder during this year. In 2002, Jean Renard and Miss World Holdings Inc became license holders and handpicked the representative. They dropped the license afterwards due to legal issues with Rebekah Revels, whom they had handpicked to compete in 2002. In 2003, Bruce Vermeulen and Geoff Kearney founded the US Miss World organization. They chose the 2003 representative by mail-in entry and telephone interviews and in 2004 held the US Miss World pageant. In 2005, Barbizon Modeling became the license holders and organized the US Miss World pageant in San Francisco, California.

Barbara Jo Walker of Memphis is crowned 1947 Miss America by the previous winner, Marilyn Buferd.

From 2007-2011, Elite Models were the license holders for Miss World in the United States and they handpicked the representative from their list of models. During this time, it was common to know who was going to represent the United States in Miss World a week or two before the international pageant began. Among their designee was Alexandria Mills who in 2010 became one of the few Miss World winners to have won the international pageant without winning a national pageant. It is unknown who was in charge of selecting the contestants in 1951, 1952, 2006 and 2012. In 2012, an audition process was held and its main priority was to examine the background charity the contestants had, although it is unknown who was in charge of this audition. In 2013, Crown Diva (license holder for Miss California USA) were asked to appoint a representative. They ended up choosing the 1st runner-up of the Miss California 2013 pageant, Olivia Jordan, and held a private celebration ceremony in Los Angeles, California.

In 2014, in an effort from Julia Morley who wanted all national directors to hold a national pageant to select the representative of their country as opposed to only designate, Christopher Wilmer, the organizer of the Miss United States pageant, was appointed as the national director of Miss Worldin the United States. As a result, the winner of Miss United States 2014 was selected to compete at Miss World because she met the age requirements of the international pageant. In 2015, Wilmer reinstated the Miss World America pageant in order to properly reflect Miss World’s age and contest requirements. Miss World America was held in 2015 and 2016.

In 2017, Lynne Scott Safrit and her daughter Elizabeth Safrit, became co-national directors of Miss World in the United States and created America’s Miss World.

In 2018, Michael Blakey became co-national director of Miss World in the United States, and will be assisted by Liz Fuller.

Contestants during the swimsuit competition in September to name the 2018 Miss America.