The third edition of Miss Universe was held on 24 July 1954, at Long Beach Municipal Auditorium, Long Beach, California, USA. They had 33 young ladies in the competition. Miss USA, 21-year-old Miriam Stevenson, won the competition. She became the first American to win the Miss Universe competition.
The pageant that year was very interesting as a statistical tie between her and Brazil’s Martha Rocha happened. The tie-breaking decision eventually came down to who’s physically sexier. The title went to her because of her “fitter” hips. Stevenson out of goodwill gave the car she won as part of her prize to Martha Rocha.
As part of the pageant prize, a contract with Universal Studios allowed her to have a one-year stint in Hollywood. Miriam however surprised everyone when she decided to return home to South Carolina in order to complete her education.
While there, she appeared as host of some local television shows. During this time, she met and married Donald Upton – an artist, writer and politician. They had two children. She remained a media personality through the 1970′s as an actress, commercial model and beauty pageant judge.
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1954 Miss Universe Miriam Stevenson From USA
1954 Contestant List
Alaska - Charlein Lander
Argentina – Ivana Olga Kislinger
Australia - Shirley Bliss
Belgium - Christiane Darnay Neckaerts
Brazil - Maria Martha Hacker Rocha
Canada - Joyce Mary Landry
Chile - Gloria Legisos Mesina
Costa Rica - Marian Esquivel McKeown
Cuba - Isis Margarita Finlay García
El Salvador - Myrna Ros Orozco
Finland - Lenita Airisto
France - Jacqueline Beer
Germany - Regina Ernst
Greece - Rika Diallina
Honduras - Lilliam Padilla
Hong Kong - Virginia Lee Wai-Chun
Israel - Aviva Pe’er
Italy - Maria Teresa Paliani
Japan - Mieko Kondo
Korea - Kae Sun-hae
Mexico - Elvira Castillo Olivera
New Zealand - Moananui Akiwa Manley
Norway - Mona Stornes
Panama - Liliana Torre
Peru - Isabella León Velarde Dancuart
Philippines - Blesilda Mueler Ocampo
Puerto Rico - Lucy Santiago
Singapore - Marjorie Wee
Sweden - Ragnhild Olausson
Thailand - Amara At-Savanon
Uruguay - Ana Moreno
USA - Miriam Stevenson 1954 Miss Universe
West Indies - Evelyn Laura Andrade