Bettie Page, the “queen of pin-ups” of the 1950s, will receive a historic mark in Nashville

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Bettie Page, a 1950s model and Playboy central page who helped set the stage for the sexual revolution of the 1960s, is finally getting credit in Nashville.

The Tennessee native, dubbed the “pin-up queen,” is set to receive a historical marker in downtown Nashville. The marker will be placed near Hume-Fogg High School, where Page graduated second in his class in 1940.

Efforts to have the late star honored were led by fan and Middle Tennessee resident Ben Wilkinson.

Jessica Reeves, who oversees the historical marker program for the Metro Historical Commission (MHC), told Fox News Digital on Thursday that she worked with Wilkinson to modify her proposed marker text. It was presented to the Markers Committee and approved this month.


American pin-up model Bettie Page (1923-2008) went on to influence fashion, movies, comics and more.
(Photo by Weegee (Arthur Fellig)/International Center of Photography/Getty Images)

“The marker was unanimously approved by the Commission and I will be ordering the marker this week,” Reeves said. “It should arrive from marker maker, Sewah Studios, in about 16 weeks. I’ve spoken with Hume-Fogg’s manager, and we’ll be working with MNPS’ facilities department. [Metro Nashville Public Schools] to choose the best location for the marker near the school.”

“This will be one of the few historic markers of a popular culture figure, and MHC is thrilled to help visitors and locals learn more about this iconic Nashvillian,” she added.

According to Reeves, the approved text reads: “One of six children, Bettie Mae Page graduated from Hume-Fogg High School (1940) and George Peabody College (1944) before moving to New York to work as a model and actress.She became one of the most photographed pin-up models of the 1950s and retired from public life in 1957. Page became an evangelical Christian and maintained a reclusive lifestyle, although she developed an underground cult following and was hailed as a feminist icon before her death in Los Angeles in 2008.”

Wilkinson previously told the Tennessean that he was “so excited for Nashville to officially recognize the fact that Bettie Page is from here.”


Bettie Page was Playboy Playmate of the Month for January 1955.

Bettie Page was Playboy Playmate of the Month for January 1955.
(Photo by Weegee (Arthur Fellig)/International Center of Photography/Getty Images)

“Her impact on pop culture is immeasurable and she is an inspirational iconic figure to countless admirers around the world,” he told the outlet. “I can’t wait for downtown Nashville to have a nice little history lesson on the pinup queen.”

Ron Brem, Page’s nephew, did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Page captured national attention with magazine photographs of her sultry figure in a bikini and sheer lingerie that were quickly plastered on walls across the country. His photos included a centerfold in the January 1955 issue of the fledgling Playboy magazine. Soaring to fame, Page became the most famous post-World War II pin-up girl.

In 1955, Page received a summons from a Senate committee headed by Senator Estes Kefauver, a Democrat from Tennessee, which was investigating pornography, The New York Times reported. Although Page was never forced to testify, the uproar prompted her to quit modeling two years later and move to Florida. After two marriages that ended in divorce, she moved to California in 1978.


Bettie Page later became a born-again Christian and served as a counselor for Billy Graham's crusade.

Bettie Page later became a born-again Christian and served as a counselor for Billy Graham’s crusade.
(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

After Page disappeared from the spotlight, many assumed she was deceased. But she lived in seclusion for years on Social Security benefits, unaware of her growing cult. After a nervous breakdown, Page was arrested for assaulting a landlady but was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a California institution. During her lifetime, Page became a born-again Christian and served as a counselor for the Billy Graham Crusade.

In the 80s and 90s, Page became an inspiration used in comic books, fashion photography, and action figures, among other things. She has been the subject of several books and a 2006 movie called “The Notorious Bettie Page” starring Gretchen Mol. Page rarely gave interviews but told her story in the 2012 documentary “Bettie Page Reveals All”. Uma Thurman, Demi Moore, Madonna, Katy Perry and Beyonce are just a few of the many celebrities who have been inspired of Page over the years.

“I want to be remembered as I was when I was young and in my golden days,” Page told the Los Angeles Times in 2006. “I want to be remembered as a woman who changed people’s view of nudity in its natural form.”

Page died in 2008 at the age of 85.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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