Susan Akin

Susan Akin (born August 12, 1964) is an American beauty pageant titleholder from Meridian, Mississippi who was Miss Mississippi 1985 and Miss America 1986.[1]

Susan Akin
Susan Akin.jpg
Susan Akin, 1985
Born (1964-08-12) August 12, 1964 (age 55)
Alma materUniversity of Mississippi
TitleMiss University 1985
Miss Mississippi 1985
Miss America 1986
PredecessorSharlene Wells
SuccessorKellye Cash
Jetson Taylor
(m. 1990; div. 1994)

Brooks Lynch (m. 1996)

Early life and educationEdit

Akin was born to Earl and Dorothy Akin on August 12, 1964. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority at the University of Mississippi.[2]


Before the Miss America 1986 pageant, computer modeling successfully predicted that Akin would be named Miss America, her odds set at 7 to 1.[3] During her pageant years, Akin participated in over 110 pageants.[4]


Akin traveled extensively with Bob Hope, performing at conventions both in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Akin was formerly the spokesperson for the National Down's Syndrome Association, during which she spoke before state legislatures and advocacy groups.[5]

In 1991, Akin appeared in a segment on Unsolved Mysteries to discuss the unexplained death of Crystal Spencer, an aspiring actress who died in the same apartment building where Akin and her husband, Jet Taylor, lived in 1988.[6]


She is the granddaughter of Bernard L. Akin, a conspirator in the murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner of 1964.[7][8] The Meridian Star reported Akin's response to her grandfather's involvement, "That's something that doesn't involve me. I wasn't even born and can't be involved in this. And the people who have taken it out of context thinking they can drag me down, cannot and they're not."[9]

Akin openly opposed mixed marriages with the New York Press quoting her as saying, "I feel at this time intermixing could lead to more problems."[10]

Personal lifeEdit

After crowning Kellye Cash as her successor, Akin moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to pursue a career in acting, but soon fell into alcoholism. In the late 1980s, Akin became addicted to opiates after being injured in a car accident.[4] She moved back to Mississippi and soon married Jetson "Jet" Taylor and gave birth to a daughter, Alexandria, in 1992. Taylor and Akin divorced in 1994.[4]

In 1996, Akin married Brooks Lynch.[4] She continued to struggle with addiction, ultimately leading to a suicide attempt in 1999.[4]

Akin and Lynch had a son, Preston Lynch, in 2001.


  1. ^ "Miss America :: History - 1986". 2006-01-08. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  2. ^ "Ole Miss Pi Phi Web Site". Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  3. ^ "Professor's computer picks Miss Mississippi". Wilmington Morning Star. Wilmington, NC. Associated Press. September 10, 1985. p. 1D. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Tauber, Michelle; Neill, Mike; Russell, Lisa; Fowler, Joanne; Dam, Julie; Tresniowski, Alex; Miller, Samantha; Dougherty, Steve; Yu, Ting (October 16, 2000). "American Beauties: 80 Years". People.
  5. ^ "Miss America : 1986". Archived from the original on 6 February 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  6. ^ David Ferrell, "COLUMN ONE : Murder or Natural Causes? : Four years after Crystal Spencer's death, her case remains a mystery. Following the trail leads to rumors, theories and mishandled evidence", "Los Angeles Times", February 24, 1992.
  7. ^ "What's Past is Past". Miami Herald. 3 October 1985.
  8. ^ "Miss America's Family Once Linked to Civil Rights Slaying". The Modesto Bee. 3 October 1985. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  9. ^ "Miss America 1986 Scrapbook: Miss America Comes Home". The Meridian Star. 18 October 1985. p. 30.
  10. ^ "Miss America 1986 Scrapbook: Miss America Says No to Mixed Marriage Idea". The Meridian Star(New York AP). 18 October 1985. p. 29.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Sharlene Wells
Miss America
Succeeded by
Kellye Cash
Preceded by
Kathy Manning
Miss Mississippi
Succeeded by
Nan Sumrall