- Mandy E. McMichael
Myerson, Bess (16 July 1924–14 Dec. 2014), politician and television personality best remembered as Miss America 1945, was born in Bronx, New York, to Louis Myerson and Bella Podell Myerson, both Jewish immigrants from Russia. She was listed as Bessie on her birth certificate but was known as Bess from an early age. Her father worked as a housepainter and her mother at a number of part-time jobs. Bess had two sisters, one older and one younger, as well as one brother who died before she was born. The family lived in a one-room apartment in the Sholem Aleichem Cooperative Houses. Though the family was not affluent, an emphasis was placed on education, including music education, as Bess’s mother believed it important that a woman be able to support herself financially. Bess studied piano and flute, graduating from the High School of Music and Art in ...