First and foremost Mary Leona Gage was a mother. It was her title as mom that ultimately cost her the title of Miss USA in 1957. The controversial deposed beauty queen died earlier this week at the age of 71.
Leona Gage became one of the most controversial and recognizable beauty queens of the 50s and 60s after she was crowned Miss USA in 1957. She was famously stripped of her crown the very next day when it was revealed that she was a married mother-of-two.
Upon further investigation, it was later revealed that Ms. Gage had lied about her age in her application to the pagaent and was only 18-years-old rather than the 21-years she had claimed. She later publicly disclosed that she had previously been married at the age of 14 – the marriage was later annulled.
After losing her crown, Gage became a mini-celebrity following her public humiliation. She made a variety of television appearances and her appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show became one of the higehest rated shows of the time. Gage went on to be a featured showgirl at the Hotel Tropicana in Las Vegas. She leveraged her fame to make an attempt at an acting carrier and went on to perform at night clubs, model, and appeared in TV commercials.
Throughout her six marriages she had five children.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Leona Gage.