Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bess Myerson (July 16, 1924)

Bess Myerson was the first Jewish Miss America in 1945. To date she is still the only Jewish Miss America.

Subsequently, she remained in the public eye, appearing on TV shows, writing a newspaper column, and participating in New York politics. My own memory is of her role as a consumer advocate, heading the New York city department of Consumer Affairs.

Her own summary:
“My Department of Consumer Affairs really fought for the consumer. We passed a consumer-protection act that really protected; we passed unit pricing; we raided supermarkets. With the help of an outstanding staff, we accomplished a great deal. And I campaigned for Hubert Humphrey for president in 1968, and for Senator Henry Jackson in his 1976 presidential bid, and for Senator Patrick Moynihan’s race in 1976. I’m a registered Democrat and I would say a moderate centrist, if we use labels. But, above all, I’m issue oriented. …”*

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