The biggest scandal to ever hit the Miss America pageant occurred in 1984, when Miss America 1984 Vanessa Williams resigned her crown after Penthouse magazine published nude photos the beauty queen had posed for years before winning the title. Williams remains the only Miss America to abdicate during her reign. She was succeeded by first runner-up, Miss New Jersey Suzette Charles, of Mays Landing.

Williams has gone on to a successful recording and acting career.