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1944 Miss America who inspired WWII effort dies at 92

Last Updated Jun 19, 2017 at 5:01 pm EDT

FILE – In this April 17, 2007, file photo, Venus Ramey, 82, winner of the Miss America pageant in 1944 as the contestant representing Washington, D.C., walks with her dogs near her property in Waynesburg, Ky. Ramey, the first red-haired Miss America, died Saturday, June 17, 2017, according to the Morris & Hislope Funeral Home in Science Hill, Ky. She was 92. (George Lewis/The Interior Journal via AP, File)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – A former Miss America who helped rally the nation during World War II by selling millions of dollars’ worth of war bonds has died. Venus Ramey was 92.

A funeral home in Science Hill, Kentucky, says the 1944 Miss America died Saturday.

Ramey was the first redhead to win the Miss America title and the first to be photographed in colour.

After winning the crown, she embarked on a vaudeville tour and sold $5 million in war bonds. Her image graced the side of a B-17 that made 68 raids over Germany and other Nazi-occupied nations.

She found renewed fame late in life when she shot out the tires of would-be thieves at her Kentucky farm.