Ruth Ellen Richmond - Miss Kansas 1947
Ruth attended Kansas University and was a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha, a national sorority founded in 1901, and Sigma Alpha Iota, a national professional music fraternity for women. At the time, Sigma Alpha Iota was the oldest and largest organization of its type in the world. Members were chosen because of their outstanding musical ability and high scholarship. In her junior year, she was selected as Princess of the Homecoming Queen’s Court at K.U.
Ruth Ellen began her journey to Atlantic City in September of 1947 by clinching the Miss Pittsburgh title earlier in the year. While competing in the Miss America Pageant, Ruth’s musical prowess was evident when she sang “My Wonderful One” during a talent portion of the contest. Ruth, along with the other contestants, represented the first year Miss America hopefuls wore two piece bathing suits in the competition.
Beautiful blonde Ruthie who stood 5’3 and weighed 105 pounds competed with 53 other beauties at the pageant (presided by Ted Malone and Phil Regan who served as masters of Ceremony). She lost to Miss Tennessee, Barbara Walker. Ruth was awarded, however, a scholarship to Patricia Stevens Modeling School, and modeled in various runway venues and photo shoots. “While in Atlantic City we lived like one big happy family”, she was quoted by the press upon her return. “Everyone helped everyone else, both at the hotel and at the various contests.”
Ruth married Jimmy Cook, a vocalist with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and later, lead vocalist with Don, Dick and Jimmy—a 1950’s era trio with several hits on Billboard’s Top 40, including “Angela Mia” and “That’s What I Like”.
Her second marriage was to Daniel Arthur Miller, graduate of Loyola Marymount and member of MENSA. Daniel served as President of the California Teachers Association and as California Scholarship Federation Vice President.
Later in life, Ruth successfully took up acting as a professional hobby. Her credits include “A Death in Canaan” starring Stephanie Powers and “Salem’s Lot” with David Soul.
Ruth Ellen Richmond is survived by her husband, Dan Miller; sister Mary Richmond; children K.C. Enzer, Kitty Cook, Christopher and Gina Cook;
grandchildren Byron Richard, Kimberly Cook, Brittany, Sarah and Aaron Cook; and great-grandchildren Priya Richard and Bryson Cook.
All that knew and loved her are as proud of her today as all of Kansas is of her regal contribution to the greatest of all pageants—Miss America!
This information was provided by K.C. Enzer.