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This 63-Year-Old Woman Competed In An Arizona Beauty Pageant And Became The First Black Woman To Hold The Title

A Black Arizona woman is the epitome of “age ain’t nothing but a number.” A random internet search led Patricia Person to become the first Black woman to earn the title of Ms. Senior Arizona.

After coming across the headline that read “Ms. Senior Arizona,” Person thought it was a good idea to enter, Ebony Magazine reports.

“I was thinking ‘Wow, what is that about?’” the 63-year-old recalled.

Once she researched the guidelines for the competition, she took a leap of faith and chose to enter. Perhaps when Person discovered that no Black woman had ever won the competition, it ignited her determination.

“It became, for me, a journey to try to achieve this, and win this crown. I thought it would be great to be the first African American to win,” Person told Ebony Magazine.

According to the pageant’s website, she also won Ms. Elegant.

With 16 remaining contestants, Person earned her crown as the first Black Ms. Senior Arizona in the competition’s 31-year history. She paid homage to pilot Bessie Coleman during the talent portion of the pageant. Coleman was the first woman of color to obtain her pilot’s license.

The Mesa, Arizona, local is married with two children and enjoys dancing, traveling, and advocating for health and fitness. 

The certified yoga instructor and former Soul Train dancer is now championing health and wellness for the elderly. With help from the pageant’s host, the CAMEO Foundation, she will join other winners to speak at events throughout the state. All of the proceeds will aid victims of domestic violence.

“So I just want to remind people that when you are over 60 years old, you don’t just sit down and wait to die,” she said. “I look at it as a time to do more.”


Person is more than an advocate of health and wellness. She holds the position of activity coordinator at a coed senior assisted living home located in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

While serving her pageantry duties, Person wants to promote programs for seniors similar to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“I see this pageant as a way to inspire other people to get out there and do something else,” she said.

Person shared one of the drawbacks of working with the elderly is the lack of comfort from family.

“The biggest complaint that I hear from them is that their kids don’t come see them or they’re lonely,” she said. “So personally, I visit as many as I can and bring them things or play games with them.”

As she continues to bring awareness to causes aligned with her new platform, Person plans to prepare for her next pageant. The Boeing retiree will compete on a national level with other winners in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“I just want to really inspire people to take care of themselves,” she said. “Do the small, simple things that will give you longevity in your life.”

Person wasn’t the only Black woman to participate in the competition. Jeanne Hill, 68, was a contestant for this year’s pageant. 

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