Bess Myerson (born July 16, 1924) is a United States celebrity. Myerson became famous as the first Jew to win the Miss America pageant in 1945, and then appeared in various television shows in the 1950s and 1960s.
Bess Myerson was born in the Bronx, New York. While competing in beauty pageants Myerson was repeatedly advised to use a pseudonym that would "sound less Jewish", but she refused. She faced prejudice even after winning the Miss America title, with many sponsors and events long associated with the pageant refusing to deal with her. She became a social activist for civil rights.
In 1954 Myerson was a panelist on "The Name's the Same" television game show, and from 1958 through 1967 was a panelist on "I've Got a Secret". She also worked as an actress on other shows.
She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1973 but managed to survive this very lethal disease. She also suffered a stroke many years later.
In 1987 a biography (Miss America, 1945: Bess Myerson's Own Story, ISBN 1557040001) was written by Susan Dworkin.