black and white photo of woman wearing a floral dress and a tiara, holding a scepter. it is signed on the bottom left in blue ink reading "Best of luck always, Phyllis George, Miss American 1971

Autographed photo of Phyllis George as Miss America, 1971

A native of Denton, Texas, Phyllis George attended North Texas State University, now known as the University of North Texas. She was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, and also became a Yucca Beauty and a Kapa Sigma Sweetheart during her time at UNT. While a student she participated in beauty pageants, eventually winning the Miss Denton title in 1969, Miss Texas in 1970, and ultimately became Miss America in 1971.

In 1975 Ms. George joined The NFL today as a host on the live pregame show, becoming one of the first women to work nationally in TV sports coverage. She also went on to be a co-host of CBS Morning News.

She founded two companies. The first was “Chicken by George,” which she sold to Hormel Foods in 1988 after two years of operation. The second was Phyllis George Beauty which opened in 2003.

Ms. George also co-authored five books, including The I Love America Diet, Never Say Never, Kentucky Crafts, and Craft in America.

She was married twice, first to Robert Evans (1977-1978) and then to John Y. Brown, Jr. (1979-1998). She had two children, Lincoln and Pamela, during her second marriage.

She would be honored by UNT as a distinguished alumna in 1977. She received an honorary Doctor of Media Arts degree from UNT in May 1988.

Phyllis George died May 14, 2020.

More materials about Phyllis George from our collections can be found on The Portal to Texas History, including photographs, videos, and a song about her.

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