Margaret Gorman (August 18, 1905 – October 1, 1995) is best known for being the first Miss America, from the year 1921.
At age 16, Gorman was chosen as “Miss District of Columbia” due to her athletic ability, past accomplishments, and outgoing personality. She was invited on that count to join the Second Annual Atlantic City Pageant as an honored guest held on September 8, 1921. There Gorman was invited to join a new event: the “Inter-City Beauty” Contest see (Timeline of major beauty pageants). She won two titles, “Inter-City Beauty, Amateur,” and “The Most Beautiful Bathing Girl in America” after competing in the Bather’s Revue. She won the grand prize, the Golden Mermaid trophy.
Gorman was expected to defend her positions the next year, but since someone else had reached the title of “Miss Washington, D.C.,” she was instead crowned as “Miss America.” She is the only Miss America to receive her crown at the end of the year. Gorman was the lightest Miss America, at 108 pounds, until 1949, when five-foot three-and-one-half inch Jacque Mercer of Phoenix, Arizona, weighing in at 106, won the now-coveted title.
Gorman was later quoted as saying “I never cared to be Miss America. It wasn’t my idea. I am so bored by it all. I really want to forget the whole thing.” She still owned the sea green chiffon and sequined dress she wore in the 1922 competition.