Mayor Koch and Queen Bess

Mayor Koch and Queen Bess

Few people have paraded before the public in quite as many guises as New York City's Bess Myerson. The willowy brunet from the Bronx catapulted to prominence in 1945 as the first Jewish woman to become Miss America. In the 1950s, she was a television game-show star on The Big Payoff. By the early '70s, Myerson had entered government, making headlines as New York City Mayor John Lindsay's crusading commissioner of consumer affairs. In the city's 1977 mayoral race, the former beauty queen hitched her star to Ed Koch, accompanying the bachelor Congressman throughout his campaign. Said Koch after his victory:...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!