Phyllis George (#320)
Phyllis George discusses her reign as Miss America 1971, her term as first lady of Kentucky, and her current role as spokesperson for the National Alzheimer’s Association.
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George grew up in Denton, TX. After her year as Miss America, she took a job as co-host of The NFL Today on CBS, where she became one of the first women to have a nationally prominent role in television sports coverage. She married John Y. Brown Jr. during his campaign for governor and became first lady of Kentucky when he was elected in November 1989. During his term, George raised the money necessary to restore the condemned governor’s mansion.
These days, George spends much of her time on the cause of promoting Alzheimer’s disease research and awareness. In the interview, she recounts her mother’s heartbreaking bout with Alzheimer’s and her own difficulties as primary caregiver. She also spotlights some statistics on how the aging of the American population is making Alzheimer’s awareness more and more critical. In Kentucky alone, there are about 80,000 Alzheimer’s patients, many of them living at home with family members—not qualified professionals—as caregivers. George plans to write a book, a companion to a documentary to be produced by the Alzheimer’s Association, in which she and other caregivers tell their own stories.