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Jacque Mercer Collection 1922-1971

MSS-57


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Mercer, Jacque (Jacque Joy), 1931-1982
Title: Jacque Mercer Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1922-1971
Quantity: 9 Boxes (6.5 Linear Feet)
Abstract:The Jacque Mercer Collection houses scrapbooks, newsclippings, printed matter, photographs, and correspondence documenting the Mercer's public appearances and promotional activities as Miss America from 1949 to 1950. Also included is genealogical and biographical information documenting Mercer and her family from 1922 to 1971.
Identification: MSS-57
Language: Material in English
Repository: Arizona State University Library. Greater Arizona Collection
Arizona State University Library
P.O. Box 871006
Tempe, AZ 85287-1006
Phone: (480) 965-4932
E-Mail: archives@asu.edu
Questions? Ask An Archivist!

Biographical Note

Jacquelyn Joy Mercer was born to Arthur Linville and Evelyn Joy (Holman) Mercer in Thatcher, Arizona on January 7, 1931 and spent most of her childhood on a ranch near Litchfield, Arizona. She attended North Phoenix High School and was a freshman at Phoenix College when she was crowned Miss America on September 11, 1949. In December of 1949, Jacque married her high school sweetheart, Douglas Cook, and thus violated her contract with Miss America. Although the pageant allowed her to keep her crown, it instituted a "no marriage, no pregnancy" rule the following year. This rule remained in effect until 1999. Mercer's national tour as Miss America included endorsements and promotions for Catalina swimwear and Lane cedar chests.

Late in 1950, Mercer filed for divorce and entered the University of Arizona. She later transferred to Mexico City College. Mercer married a casual acquaintance, William Oldenburger, in Los Angeles on August 22, 1952. The couple divorced after 11 days, and Mercer entered Arizona State College in the fall semester of the same year. Here, she met ASC football star Dick Curran, who she married in May of 1953. The couple had two children, Richard Jr. and Shannon. Richard Curran Sr. played for the Green Bay Packers before returning to Phoenix and founding an advertising firm, the Curran Company. Jacque Curran appeared in a number of television commercials and performed in eight plays at the Sombrero Playhouse in addition to working with her husband's firm.

Jacque and Richard Curran divorced in 1974. Jacque Mercer went into real eastate and married Marvin Gillespie in Los Angeles on January 21, 1978. Jacque Mercer Gillespie died of leukemia in California on February 2, 1982.


Scope and Content Note

The Jacque Mercer Collection houses scrapbooks, newsclippings, printed matter, photographs, and correspondence documenting the Mercer's public appearances and promotional activities as Miss America from 1949 to 1950. Also included is genealogical and biographical information documenting Mercer and her family from 1922 to 1971.


Arrangement

This collection consists of nine boxes.

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

To view this collection, make an appointment at least five business days prior to your visit by contacting Ask an Archivist or calling (480) 965-4932. Appointments are available from Monday through Friday from 9-5, on a first come, first served basis, on the ASU Tempe or West campuses.

Copyright

Arizona State University does not own copyright to this collection. Distinctive Collections recognizes that it is incumbent upon the researcher to procure permission to publish information from this collection from the owner of the copyright.


Related Material

Interested researchers may also wish to consult CP JME: Jacque Mercer Photographs (guide available at http://www.azarchivesonline.org/xtf/view?docId=ead/asu/cp_jme.xml.


Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Mercer, Jacque (Jacque Joy), 1931-1982.

Subject(s)
Beauty contestants -- United States.
Beauty contests -- United States.
Miss America Pageant.
Models (Persons) -- United States.


Administrative Information

Credit Line

Jacque Mercer Collection, MSS-57. Arizona State University Library: Greater Arizona Collection.

Provenance

Jacque Mercer donated these materials to Archives and Special Collections in 1974 (Accession #1974-00052).


Container List

BoxFolder
11 Awards and Diplomas, 1948-1950, 1954,
12 Programs from Plays Starring Jacque Mercer, 1950-1956, Undated
13 Programs from Modeling Appearances, 1950, Undated
14-4/OV1 Memorabilia, 1949-1950
15-5/OV1 Ads with Jacque Mercer, 1949-1956, Undated
16 Prince Alfonso: Mexico City, 1950
17-7/OV1 Magazines: Ads and Publicity, Undated
Box
2 Magazines: Biographical Articles, 1949-1951
21/OV1 Magazines: Biographical Articles, 1949-1951
Box
3 Programs From Beauty Pageants including Miss Arizona and Miss America, 1949-1971
BoxFolder
41 Genealogy, Undated
42 Baby Book, 1922, 1931-1932 (Scrapbook with Photographs)
43 Scrapbook, 1931, Undated (Scrapbook with Photographs)
44/OV1 Scrapbook, 1933-1949, Undated (Scrapbook with Photographs)
45/OV3 Scrapbook, 1949-1950, Undated (Scrapbook with Photographs)
46/OV3 Miss America 1950, 1950 (Scrapbook with Photographs and Correspondence)
47/OV3 Miss America 1950, 1950 (Scrapbook with Photographs and Correspondence)
BoxFolder
51-1B Correspondence: Between Lenora Slaughter and the Mercers, 1949-1955
52-2A Correspondence: Between Promotion Companies and the Mercers, 1949-1950
53 Correspondence: Personal, 1961, Undated
54 Correspondence: Telegrams, 1949-1950
BoxFolder
61 Fan Mail: Unidentified, A, 1949-1950
62 Fan Mail: B, 1949-1950
63 Fan Mail: C, 1949-1950
64 Fan Mail: D-E, 1949-1950
65 Fan Mail: F-G, 1949-1950
66 Fan Mail: H-I, 1949-1950
67 Fan Mail: J-K, 1949-1950
68 Fan Mail: L, 1949-1950
69 Fan Mail: M, 1949-1950
610 Fan Mail: Mc, N-O, 1949-1950
611 Fan Mail: P-Q, 1949-1950
612 Fan Mail: R-S, 1949-1950
613 Fan Mail: T, U-V, X-Z, 1949-1950
BoxFolder
71 Newspaper Articles: Miss Phoenix (Crowned 1949 June 28), 1949
72 Newspaper Articles: Miss Arizona (Crowned 1949 August 10), 1949
73 Newspaper Articles: Miss America Competition, 1949 September 5-9
74 Newspaper Articles: Miss America Competition (Crowned 1949 September 11), 1949 September 10-12
75 Newspaper Articles: September 1949, 1949 September
76 Newspaper Articles, 1949 October-December
77 Newspaper Articles, 1950 January-February
78 Newspaper Articles, 1950 March-May
79 Newspaper Articles, 1950 June-August
710 Newspaper Articles, 1950 September
BoxFolder
811 Newspaper Articles: Miss America vs Mrs. America, Undated
82 Newspaper Articles: Dramatics, Undated
83 Newspaper Articles: Modeling, Undated
84 Newspaper Articles: Marriage to Doug Cook, 1949
85 Newspaper Articles: Post Miss America, Undated (1 of 2)
86 Newspaper Articles: Post Miss America, Undated (2 of 2)
87 Newspaper Articles: Marriage to Dick Curran, Undated
88 Newspaper Articles: Dick Curran, Undated
89 Newspaper Articles: Family, Undated
810 Newspaper Articles: "Under the Sun" by Bert Fireman, Undated
811 Newspaper Articles: Miscellaneous, Undated
Box
9 Award Ribbons, 1949, Undated