From Auburn University's Auburn Magazine, Winter 2006

For former beauty queen,
laughter is part of the job

By Kathleen Johnston

    Former Miss America contestant Jeanne Robertson ‘67 is a tall drink of water, but it’s laughs she’ll fill your belly with.

    As a speaker and humorist, the North Carolinian employs G-rated comedy grounded in stories about her Southern heritage,.  She wants audience to chuckle - then she wants them to think.

    Building on speaking experience gained on the pageant circuit, Robertson teaches people to understand the importance of a sense of humor - something she distinguishes from being funny.

    Making people laugh requires comedic talent.  Have a sense of humor, Robertson explains, is “a choice about the way you live your life.”

    At age 13 and a height of 6-foot-2 inches, Robertson realize her height st her apart from her friends.

    One Halloween, the other kids told Robertson they didn’t want an “adult” with them.  So, with her mother’s help, she threw on some sheets and grabbed two sacks, posing as a trick-or-treater atop another’s shoulders and doubling her candy opportunities.

    Thanks to similar stories and years of speaking about them, Robertson now towers at the top of her profession, having earned every major award in the motivational speaking field – many as the first woman recipient.  But she’s as practical as she is funny.

    “The truth is I got in it early,” she drawls, crediting her four decades of experience.

    At an age many would consider time for retirement (“I lie in bed at night, and I hear myself wrinkling”), Robertson is venturing into satellite radio and other new media to hawk her brand of humor.  She still spends 23 days a month traveling, outlining her self-practiced steps to developing  sense of humor, such as learning to laugh at yourself and taking “humor breaks.” 

Auburn Magazine, Winter 2006