Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio | 2005
Evelyn Ryan was a devoted mother and housewife who used her self-described "knack for words" to keep her struggling family afloat. In the 1950s and '60s, housewives across the country used their wits to win thousands of dollars in cash and prizes in jingle contests staged by corporations to promote their products. But of all the "jingle-belles" vying for supremacy, none out-rhymed Evelyn Ryan, whose creative resources usually corresponded directly to her family's needs--and with ten kids and an alcoholic husband, those needs were numerous and unending. Applying her remarkable ingenuity and an uncommon wit, Evelyn found the way to keep her family together, despite the enormous odds stacked against them.