Elizabeth "Bette" Cooper
Born(1920-08-11)August 11, 1920
DiedDecember 10, 2017(2017-12-10) (aged 97)
Alma materCentenary University
TitleMiss Bertrand Island 1937
Miss America 1937
PredecessorRose Coyle
SuccessorMarilyn Meseke
William F. Moore
(m. 1951)

Elizabeth Cooper-Moore (August 11, 1920 – December 10, 2017) won the Miss America 1937 pageant as Miss Bertrand Island, representing an amusement park on Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey.[1]

Early life

She was born in Hackettstown, New Jersey.[2] Cooper attended Centenary Junior College (now Centenary University) in Hackettstown where she was a member of the Delta Sigma Sigma sorority and graduated from Centenary Junior College's Academy in 1938 at ceremonies attended by Governor of New Jersey, A. Harry Moore, later graduating from Centenary Junior College in 1940.[2][3]


She caused a stir when she disappeared for some 24 hours with 23-year-old Louis Off, after winning the Miss America title.[4] Evidently overwhelmed by what was expected of her, she insisted upon a much lighter schedule so that she could attend college. This led pageant officials to have future Miss America contestants sign agreements as to what duties were expected of the winner and also be chaperoned.[4][5]


Cooper, who did some modeling and appearances in the years after her title, long shunned any connection or involvement with Miss America.[6] Michael Callahan wrote a roman à clef on Cooper titled The Night She Won Miss America (2017).[7]

Personal life

She married a Wall Street executive, William Moore, and had two children, Cheryl and Gregory, as well as four grandchildren.[5] Cooper died in December 2017 at the age of 97.[8]


  1. ^ "In Memory of Miss America 1937 Bette Cooper". 5 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Sororities Admit 85 at Centenary Junior; Majority of Students Named to Three Societies Are From New York Area". The New York Times. November 21, 1937. Retrieved December 6, 2007. Miss Bette Cooper of this community, who was chosen Miss America for 1937 at the Atlantic City beauty contest in September, is a new member of Delta Sigma Sigma.
  3. ^ "68 to Get Diplomas at Centenary Junior; College at Hackettstown, N. J., to Hold Its Exercises Today". The New York Times. June 11, 1938. Retrieved December 6, 2007.
  4. ^ a b Hetrick, Christian (July 18, 2015). "The curse of Miss New Jersey". The Press of Atlantic City. Pleasantville, NJ: BH Media. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Tauber, Michelle; Neill, Mike; Russell, Lisa; Fowler, Joanne; Dam, Julie; Tresniowski, Alex; Miller, Samantha; Dougherty, Steve; Yu, Ting (October 16, 2000). "American Beauties: 80 Years". People.
  6. ^ "Miss America History 1937". Miss America. Archived from the original on September 23, 2006. Retrieved December 30, 2006.
  7. ^ La Gorce, Tammy (2017-04-19). "What Happens When Miss America Goes Missing?". New Jersey Monthly. Archived from the original on 2018-06-11. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  8. ^ "Elizabeth Moore Obituary - Greenwich, CT". Legacy.com. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
Awards and achievements Preceded byRose Coyle Miss America 1937 Succeeded byMarilyn Meseke