Hela Yungst

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Hela Yungst
Beauty pageant titleholder
Born Hela Yungst
January 15, 1950
Died 2002
Mountainside, New Jersey, U.S.
Title(s) Miss New Jersey 1970
Miss America 1971

Hela Yungst (January 15, 1950 in Israel – February 24, 2002 in Livingston, New Jersey[1][2]), also known as Hela Young, was an American television entertainer and beauty pageant winner. She was a promoter of Holocaust awareness and a former president of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education.

Yungst was born in Israel to parents who were survivors of The Holocaust. The family moved to the United States in 1956[3] where she first lived in Newark, New Jersey.[4] She was raised in Hillside, New Jersey and graduated from Hillside High School in 1967, where she was a member of the National Honor Society. She graduated from Newark State College (now Kean University) with a B.A. in music education and theatre.

Yungst was Miss New Jersey 1970, representing the state in the Miss America 1971 pageant in Atlantic City. The Women's Liberation Front demonstrated at the event.[5] Yungst was not a finalist, however, [6] losing to Miss Texas 1970, Phyllis George. In August 1971, Yungst traveled to Vietnam with George, Miss Nevada 1970, Vicky Jo Todd, Miss New Jersey 1970, Cheryl Browne, Miss Iowa 1970, Karen Shields, Miss Arkansas 1970, Donna Connelly, and Miss Texas 1970 (George's replacement), Belinda Myrick.[7] They participated in a 22 day United Service Organizations tour for American troops there. The tour began in Saigon.[7][8][6] Browne later commented that she thought "it was one of the last Miss America groups to go to Vietnam."[6]

Yungst was a performer on stage and in films, television commercials and soap operas, appearing in Guiding Light and All My Children.[9] She changed her name to Hela Young and became the New Jersey Lottery hostess on television, picking the nightly winning numbers for some 24 years. She left television in November 2001 due to illness.

She resided with her husband and daughter in Mountainside, New Jersey and died in 2002 due to cancer.[10]

The New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education presents "The Hela Young Award" each year "to honor a person in recognition of outstanding work in the community for the improvement of human relations among diverse peoples and for the improvement of the human condition."[11]


  1. Archived Lottery News for February, 2002, www.usamega.com
  2. Obituary, The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 25, 2002.
  3. "Ceremony celebrates those who fought back", New Jersey Jewish News, April 30, 2009.
  4. Mastrull, Diane. "Hela Young, longtime New Jersey Lottery host", The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 25, 2002. Accessed September 8, 2015. "Ms. Young was born in Israel to Holocaust survivors. She moved to Newark as a child in 1957 and lived in Hillside and Edison before settling in Mountainside, Union County, in 1984."
  5. Musel, Robert (1970-08-26). "Television in Review". The Bryan Times p. 16 (United Press International). Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Davis, Shirley (2000-10-19). "History follows former Miss Iowa First black pageant winner recalls her crowning moment". Quad-City Times. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 Associated Press (1971-08-11). "People in News". Kentucky New Era p. 23. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Cauley, Paul (1971). "Photographs by Paul Cauley, 1971 Door Gunner, A Co 101st Avn (Text by Belinda Myrick-Barnett)". Paul Cauley.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Obituary, Newsday, February 27, 2002.
  10. "Event to honor memory of two who battled hate", New Jersey Jewish News. Accessed September 18, 2009.
  11. "Hela Young Award", New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education website, accessed September 18, 2009.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Cheryl Carter
Miss New Jersey
Succeeded by
Lynn Hackerman