Miss America 1975
DateSeptember 7, 1974
PresentersBert Parks
Phyllis George
VenueBoardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey
WinnerShirley Cothran
Texas Texas
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Miss America 1975, the 48th Miss America pageant, was held at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 7, 1974 and broadcast on NBC.[1][2]

The winner, Shirley Cothran, was a graduate of Denton High School in Texas, the same school attended by the Miss America of four years before, Phyllis George.

Among the other contestants in the 1975 pageant was Miss Florida, actress Delta Burke.



Final results Contestant
Miss America 1975
1st runner-up
2nd runner-up
3rd runner-up
4th runner-up
Top 10


Preliminary awards

Awards Contestant
Lifestyle and Fitness

Other awards

Awards Contestant
Non-finalist Talent
Miss Congeniality



State Name Hometown Age Talent Placement Special Awards Notes
Alabama Alabama Pam Long Florence 20 Ventriloquism Screenwriter of the soap opera Guiding Light
Alaska Alaska Darby Moore Kenai 20 Ventriloquism, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"
Arizona Arizona Mary Avilla Glendale 20 Popular Vocal, "Best Thing You've Ever Done"
Arkansas Arkansas Rhonda Pope Hot Springs 21 Vocal Medley, "Friends" & "With a Little Help from My Friends" Miss Congeniality
California California Lucianne Buchanan Claremont 21 Harp, "Concerto in B Flat" 1st runner-up Preliminary Lifestyle & Fitness Award
Colorado Colorado Cynthia Hunter Denver 23 Soft Shoe Dance, "Mame"
Connecticut Connecticut Elisa Heinemann Wethersfield 18 Dramatic Interpretations, "Prunella", "Yenta", & "Wicked Witch"
Delaware Delaware Kathleen Attanasi Rehoboth Beach 22 Harp Medley, "Harmonious Blacksmith" & "Close to You"
Florida Florida Delta Burke Orlando 18 Dramatic Monologue, "Anne Boleyn" Non-finalist Talent Award Later gained fame as an actress, most notable on Designing Women
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia Gail Nelson Atlanta 22 Vocal Medley, "So Long, Dearie", "Put on Your Sunday Clothes", & "Before the Parade Passes By" from Hello, Dolly!
Hawaii Hawaii Coline-Helen Kanaloku Aiu Honolulu 23 Modern Jazz Dance, "Hospital Shootout" Miss Congeniality
Idaho Idaho Rochelle Bacon Boise 21 Vocal, "Cornet Man" from Funny Girl
Illinois Illinois Jean Ahern Hinsdale 21 Ballet en Pointe, "Kitri's Variation" from Don Quixote 2nd runner-up Preliminary Talent Award
Indiana Indiana Penny Tichenor Owensville 21 Vocal, "Maybe This Time" from Caberet Top 10
Iowa Iowa Jean Bollhoefer Haverhill 25 Popular Vocal, "Starting Here, Starting Now" Non-finalist Talent Award
Kansas Kansas Karen Smith Shawnee 18 Jazz/Acrobatic Dance, "The Entertainer" Non-finalist Talent Award

Preliminary Lifestyle & Fitness Award

Kentucky Kentucky Darlene Compton Louisville 25 Vocal, "Mira" from Carnival! 3rd runner-up Preliminary Talent Award
Louisiana Louisiana Libby Lovejoy Sulphur 21 Classical Ballet en Pointe, "The Grenadiers" 4th runner-up
Maine Maine Margaret Ann Welch Bangor 22 Vocal, "Killing Me Softly with His Song"
Maryland Maryland Susan Jane Wohlfarth Potomac 21 Classical Ballet, Giselle
Massachusetts Massachusetts Susan Sadlier Lowell 22 Musical Comedy, "I'm the Greatest Star" Dr. David B. Allman Medical Scholarship
Michigan Michigan Susan Lillian Short Kalamazoo 23 Semi-classical Vocal, "Love is Where You Find It"
Minnesota Minnesota Pam Bernhagen Bloomington 20 Acrobatic Jazz Ballet, "Fiddler on the Roof" Sister of Miss Minnesota 1971, Sheila Bernhagen
Mississippi Mississippi Diane Bounds Gulfport 21 Popular Vocal, "When You Smile"
Missouri Missouri Michelle Marshall Florissant 20 Vocal/Dance, "Sweet Charity" from Sweet Charity
Montana Montana Pamela Royer Billings 20 Gymnastic Floor Exercise, "Love Story"
Nebraska Nebraska Sharon Sue Pelc Johnstown 22 Ventriloquism & Singing, "Those Were the Days"
Nevada Nevada Jacqueline Barker Sparks 19 Popular Vocal, "The Way We Were"
New Hampshire New Hampshire Cynthia Erb Manchester 18 Gymnastic Dance to the theme from Midnight Cowboy Dr. David B. Allman Medical Scholarship
New Jersey New Jersey Elizabeth Bracken Mahwah 21 Dramatic Monologue, "Elizabeth Umpstead" by Carl Sandburg
New Mexico New Mexico Donna Frances Reel Albuquerque 21 Vocal, "For Once in My Life" Top 10 Previously Miss New Mexico USA 1972

Top 10 at Miss USA 1972

Previously Miss New Mexico World 1973

Top 16 at Miss World USA 1973

New York (state) New York Kris Krull Niagara Falls 22 Jazz Dance, "Superstar" from Jesus Christ Superstar
North Carolina North Carolina Susan Griffin High Point 22 Semi-classical Vocal, "With a Song in My Heart" Non-finalist Talent Award
North Dakota North Dakota Susan Kay Myhr Bottineau 18 Vocal, "You're Gonna Hear From Me" & "Don't Rain on My Parade"
Ohio Ohio Lorrie Kapsta Columbus 26 Classical Piano, "Piano Concerto in B Minor" by Tchaikovsky Non-finalist Talent Award
Oklahoma Oklahoma Debbie Knight Warr Acres 22 Piano, "Minuet in G Major"
Oregon Oregon Juli Ann Berg Eugene 21 Vocal, "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin Daughter of Miss Oregon 1947, Jo Ann Amorde
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Karen Lynn Kuhn Levittown 20 Ballet, "Shubert Alley Overture"
Rhode Island Rhode Island Karen Salvatore Warwick 22 Original Skit, "Don't Smoke" Non-finalist Talent Award
South Carolina South Carolina Cheryl Von Lehe Charleston 18 Vocal, "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?"
South Dakota South Dakota Barbara Guthmiller Tripp 21 Vocal, "Summertime" Top 10 Older sister of Miss South Dakota 1976, Beth Guthmiller

Contestant at National Sweetheart 1972

Tennessee Tennessee Deborah Kincaid Memphis 21 Vocal Medley, "Once in a Lifetime", "In My Own Lifetime", & "This is My Life" Top 10 Preliminary Talent Award
Texas Texas Shirley Cothran Denton 21 Flute Medley, "Bumble Boogie" & "Swingin' Sheperd Blues" Winner Preliminary Lifestyle & Fitness Award
Utah Utah Kathlyn Louise White Bountiful 21 Classical Vocal, "Voices of Spring" Married singer Wayne Osmond
Vermont Vermont Donna Shea Windsor 21 Oratory, "Eulogy of John F. Kennedy"
Virginia Virginia Stephanie Dowdy Virginia Beach 18 Vocal, "I've Gotta Be Me"
Washington (state) Washington Kathleen Moore Bothell 22 Classical Vocal, "Italian Street Song" Top 10
West Virginia West Virginia Mary Derry Morgantown 21 Semi-classical Vocal, "Cycles" Non-finalist Talent Award
Wisconsin Wisconsin Carol Schmitt Green Bay 22 Vocal, "Speak Softly Love" Dr. David B. Allman Medical Scholarship

Special Education Award

Wyoming Wyoming Cheryl Johnson Cheyenne 20 Modern Jazz Dance, "Scorpio" Dr. David B. Allman Medical Scholarship


  1. ^ Ladd, Deborah (August 29, 1974). "Miss New Hampshire Beauty To Vie For Crown of Miss America". Nashua Telegraph. Nashua, NH. p. 20. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  2. ^ "Our Miss Americas: 1975 Shirley Cothran". Miss America. Archived from the original on September 24, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014.