Gloria Byrns Evans
Born: July 26, 1922 in Port Arthur, Texas
Died: December 24, 2011 in Port Arthur, TX
When Gloria Byrns Evans was a student at Lamar University in 1940, she won the title of “Miss Port Arthur” on the old Strand Theater. The same year she entered the Miss Texas competition at Mineral Wells, the Boston Shoe Co. fronting $6.00 for her a swim-suit for the pageant, with the understanding that she would represent that firm.
Gloria performed a drum major dancing routine for the talent portion of the contest. This performance earned her the title of “Miss Texas”, but she did not win the national title of Miss America at Atlantic City that year. Despite the outbreak of World War II, Gloria was once again selected to represent the State of Texas in Atlantic City, but before the pageant concluded, Gloria went down with strep throat and had to be confined to a hospital. Therefore, she missed a rare second chance to gain that coveted title.
Fox News broadcast the unusual event for nationwide theater audiences at the time. Gloria was featured in an August 1, 1995, National Examiner article, as state pageant authorities belatedly awarded the crown she would have won in 1941.