60th – Miriam Stevenson, USA (1954)
(Our judges are: Greg Borowski, Willian Prendiz de Jurado, Edwin Toledo (Times of Beauty), Ricardo Guiraldes (Chilean Charm), Julio Rodriguez (Belleza Venezolana), Alberto Dubal (Miss Memorabilia), Jimmy Harris (Beauty School), Pepe Medel, Jean-Marie Vandecasteele, Andre Sleigh, Rose Foulger, Luis Trujillo. From GB, Ed Dominguez, Henrique Fontes, and Chris Kuntz)
Miriam Jacqueline Stevenson, from South Carolina, USA, competed in the 3rd edition of Miss Universe, in 1954. She edged out the big favorite and still the most talked about Miss Brazil of all times, Martha Rocha.
The American and the Brazilian beauties tied after the judges’ final voting. As Catalina was the major sponsor of the pageant in its early years, the tie-breaking judgment finally came down to who had the better physical figure, which went to Miriam’s favor, for she had the “fitter” hips over Martha Rocha.
Stevenson gave the car she won in her Miss Universe Prize package to Martha Rocha as a consolatory prize.
Thirty-three countries competed in Miss Universe 1954, and the other finalists were Virginia Lee Wai-Chun of Hong Kong (3rd place), Regina Ernst of Germany (4th place), and Ragnhild Olausson (5th place).
Miriam conquered the first of so far 7 American titles, and it remains one of the most controversial ones ever. She became a television presenter and enjoy relative success as a tv commercials actress and model until the mid 1970’s.