News Press Fort Meyers Oct 6, 1985
First Miss America dies at 98 J ORLANDO (AP) Annie Laurie Kilpatrick, who in 1912 won a Miss America title in a contest said to have I been a forerunner of today's pageant, died Friday at age 98. Kilpatrick became the first to win the title, gaining the ? crown at age 25 as Miss Georgia in a contest in Miami, said her son, Russ Robinson. He called the 1 91 2 contest a ; forerunner to the modern Miss America Pageant, held since 1 921 in Atlantic City, N.J. Albert A. Marks, Jr., executive director of the Miss America Pageant, said he had heard of Kilpatrick's I claim, but knew of no Miss America pageants before the Atlantic City contest. I Robinson said his mother held the title for several years, and went on to date President Woodrow Wilson. I She toured the country during part of her reign to sell war bonds, he said. Kilpatrick, a dancer, singer, pianist and model, liked to recall her date with Wilson, Robinson said. "She loved to tell the story, and when people said she could have been first lady she laughed and said he was too old for her," he said. The old contest was sponsored by chambers of commerce from around the country, Robinson said. The first contest had 28 contestants, he said. While the 1912 contest was not as well-publicized as today's, being known as the first Miss America conferred upon Kilpatrick a special notoriety, her son said. She appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Good Morning America, he said. Kilpatrick was born in Atlanta and moved to Orlando from Georgia in 1972. Besides her son, she is survived by two grandchildren. Robinson did not divulge her cause of death or plans.