Katie Rogers, THE NEW YORK TIMES
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (The New York Times) — Betty Cantrell of Georgia was crowned Miss America on Sunday, but an apology to Vanessa Williams stole the show.
In 1983, Ms. Williams, now 52, became the first African-American to win the Miss America pageant. She was forced to resign 10 months later after nude photographs of her surfaced.
She went on to enjoy a decades-long career in TV, film and music. But it was a particular redemption to return to Sunday’s pageant in Atlantic City as a celebrity judge.
After Ms. Williams sang a song, Sam Haskell, executive chairman of the Miss America pageant, apologized for the way the organization treated her three decades ago.