Los Angeles, California, United States – Leona Gage ex Miss USA died at age 71 in Los Angeles last Saturday.
Leona Gage spend the last few weeks in the Sherman Oaks hospital and died of a heart failure according to her son who presented the news to the world last Saturday afternoon. Leona became Miss USA in 1957, unfortunately for her she was stripped from her title within 24 hours. The scandal of her losing her crown has in the end brought her lots of publicity.
She was born in Texas under the name Mary Leona Gage, and entered the 1957 Miss USA pageant as Miss Maryland USA. That year the pageant was held at Long Beach in California where nobody knew her. She also lied to the organizers about her age, her real age was 18, on her application was written 21 which was the minimum age to enter the Miss USA competition in 1957.
Once she won the pageant she told a reporter from the Baltimore Post; “ I don’t have a boyfriend and I want to wait until I’m 26 before I become seriously interested in the opposite sex.” Only a day later her true colors were revealed and the news broke that she had been married twice, both times at age 14 and on top of that it was announced she had her second child at age 16. The facts of her true life story were all forbidden factors to enter the beauty pageant. The scandal was world news, and she was stripped from her crown.
Leona Gage appeared on various television shows including the Ed Sullivan Show, she always told the press to be dreaming of the Miss Universe or Miss World title.