[Marxism] A Miss America who protested on behalf of the Rosenbergs

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 26 15:56:14 MST 2016

On 2/26/16 9:57 AM, Louis Proyect via Marxism wrote:
> NY Times, Feb. 26 2016
> Yolande Betbeze Fox, Miss America Who Defied Convention, Dies at 87
> Yolande Betbeze Fox, a convent-educated Alabamian who defied convention,
> and set new standards, by refusing to tour the country as Miss America
> of 1951 in revealing bathing suits, died on Monday in Washington. She
> was 87.
> Her death was confirmed by the Joseph Gawler’s Sons funeral home in
> Washington.
> By the time Ms. Fox won her title on Sept. 9, 1950, in Atlantic City,
> pageant officials, trying to calibrate propriety and sex appeal amid
> changing mores, had already decided to stop crowning Miss America while
> she was wearing a swimsuit. That pageant staple had been confined to the
> swimsuit competition, an event Ms. Fox — Ms. Betbeze at the time — had
> already won. She began her reign in a gown.
> But given that the swimsuit competition’s chief sponsor, Catalina,
> manufactured swimwear, Ms. Fox was still expected to model bathing suits
> as the reigning Miss America.
> What the organizers did not expect was her response. “Yolande declared,
> ‘I’m an opera singer, not a pinup!’ and refused posing in a bathing suit
> again,” according to her official biography on the pageant’s website.

Her long-time companion who died in 2009 was also a fighter for social 

Washington Post, April 13, 2009
Cherif Guellal dies at 76; Algerian resistance fighter and diplomat
by Adam Bernstein

Cherif Guellal, an Algerian resistance fighter, businessman and diplomat 
who cut a glamorous figure in Washington society and was the longtime 
companion of a former Miss America, died of leukemia Tuesday at a 
hospital in Algiers. He was 76.

Guellal was a veteran of the bloody independence movement that in 1962 
secured freedom for his North African country from French rule. After 
serving as a top lieutenant to Ahmed Ben Bella, the rebel leader turned 
president, Guellal arrived in Washington, D.C., as post-colonial 
Algeria's first ambassador to the United States.

His good looks enhanced his popularity at soirees and made him a 
compelling presence at academic gatherings. "We wish to be masters in 
our own house and not junior partners of the great powers," he said at a 
1964 meeting of U.S. political and social scientists, describing the 
Algerian drive toward independence.

Guellal remained his country's chief envoy in Washington after military 
leader Houari Boumedienne toppled Ben Bella's government in a 1965 coup. 
Guellal told President Lyndon B. Johnson that he hoped relations would 
improve between the two countries. It was a union born of oil money, 
from Johnson's native Texas and the oil-rich states of the Arab world, 
wrote society host-turned-writer Barbara Howar in her 1973 memoir 
"Laughing All the Way."

The unmarried Guellal became a social success as he settled into the 
ambassador's residence, a French chateau-style home called the Elms, 
that had belonged at times to Johnson and grand hostess Perle Mesta.

In her book, Howar called Guellal a "handsome and brilliant young 
freedom fighter" and a "roving intellectual" who became much in demand 
among the Embassy Row elite and local society "Swing Set."

His constant companion was raven-haired Yolande Fox, the Alabama-born 
Miss America of 1951 and the widow of a movie and TV executive.

Compared with others, Howar wrote, Guellal "entertained less often and 
less lavishly but in a certain swashbuckling style that drew together 
the keener political minds, celebrated academicians, international 
radicals and showbiz luminaries who were the residuals of Mrs. Fox's 
years of salon-keeping in New York and Los Angeles."

Guellal became a fixture of society columns. His social secretary was 
Sally Quinn, who became a Washington Post reporter and chronicler of the 
city's power elite.

The 1967 Arab-Israeli War severed diplomatic ties between the United 
States and Algeria and ended Guellal's term as ambassador. He remained 
Algeria's unofficial representative in Washington while shuttling 
between homes in Georgetown, Algiers and Paris and consulting for U.S. 
companies hoping to conduct business in the Arab world.

He became a representative of the state-owned energy company Sonatrach, 
which played a crucial role helping meet demands during the world oil 
crisis of the 1970s.

Cherif Ali Guellal, a doctor's son, was born in Constantine, in eastern 
Algeria, on Aug. 19, 1932.

His mother, Fatima, became a leader in anti-French resistance groups. 
She was imprisoned and tortured by the French, as were many other 
members of the family.

Guellal graduated in 1956 from a university in Aix-en-Provence, France, 
before joining the Algerian provisional government in exile. He mostly 
worked from India for the independence movement, trying to build 
international support for the resistance, before winning his appointment 
to Washington.

In the capital, he successfully fought the city to remove a racially 
restrictive covenant on the new ambassadorial residence. The late 
Washington journalist and society historian Hope Ridings Miller wrote in 
her book "Embassy Row" that Guellal's efforts led the District of 
Columbia government to remove many more such discriminatory covenants 

Guellal never married Fox, but they considered each other spouses, and 
he helped raise her daughter. Fox survives in Washington, along with her 
daughter, Dolly Fox of New York and Washington. Other survivors include 
three brothers and a granddaughter.

Bernstein writes for the Washington Post.

More information about the Marxism mailing list