Laura Kaeppeler

Laura Kaeppeler
Born (1988-03-02) March 2, 1988
Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.
Residence Malibu, California
Alma mater St. Joseph High School
Carthage College
Title Miss Kenosha 2010
Miss Southern Wisconsin 2011
Miss Wisconsin 2011
Miss America 2012
Term January 14, 2012 - January 12, 2013
Predecessor Teresa Scanlan
Successor Mallory Hagan
Spouse(s) Mike Fleiss (m. 2014-present)[1]
Children Benjamin (b. 2015)[2]

Laura Marie Kaeppeler-Fleiss (born March 2, 1988) is an American beauty pageant titleholder crowned Miss America 2012 on January 14, 2012, representing the state of Wisconsin.[3] Kaeppeler was the first woman representing Wisconsin to win Miss America since Terry Anne Meeuwsen won Miss America 1973.


Kaeppeler was born to Jeff and Sue Kaeppeler in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In 2009 Kaeppeler won the title of Miss Kenosha. She then went on to win the talent preliminary award and was second runner-up to Miss Wisconsin 2010, Kimberly Sawyer. One year later Kaeppeler won the title of Miss Southern Wisconsin 2010. At the 2011 Miss Wisconsin Pageant, she won the preliminary talent award, which she tied with Raeanna Johnson, who later took over the Miss Wisconsin title after Laura won Miss America.[4] She attended St. Joseph High School and Carthage College, where she graduated in 2010 with a degree in music.[5][6]

Miss America 2012 pageant

Kaeppeler was Wisconsin's representative at the Miss America 2012 competition held in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Theatre for the Performing Arts of Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on January 14, 2012.[7]

In the preliminary competition, Kaeppeler won the talent portion and a $2,000 scholarship with her rendition of the Luigi Arditi waltz "Il Bacio".[8][9] She chose a platform of supporting and mentoring children of incarcerated parents, as her father served 18 months in prison for mail fraud.[8]

In the lifestyle and fitness competition, she wore a white bikini, and for her evening gown, Kaeppeler wore a black customized Tony Bowls beaded dress.[8]

In the final round, judge Lara Spencer asked Kaeppeler if beauty queens should declare their political viewpoint. Kaeppeler then answered, "Miss America represents everyone, so I think the message to political candidates is that they represent everyone as well. And so in these economic times, we need to be looking forward to what America needs, and I think Miss America needs to represent all."[8] Kaeppeler beat out first runner-up Miss Oklahoma 2011, Betty Thompson, for the title of Miss America 2012 and was crowned by Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan.[3] Along with the title of Miss America, she also won a $50,000 scholarship.

Miss America role

Kaeppeler met President Obama through a joint meeting with the Children's Miracle Network Hospital Champions at the White House.[10] Obama previously met with Miss America 2009 Katie Stam and Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron during similar events.[11][12]

Personal life

On April 6, 2014, Kaeppeler married television producer Mike Fleiss, who was a judge at the Miss America 2012 pageant which Kaeppeler won.[1][13] Kaeppeler gave birth to a son named Benjamin, on May 4, 2015.[2]


Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Teresa Scanlan
Miss America
Succeeded by
Mallory Hagan
Preceded by
Kimberly Sawyer
Miss Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Raeanna Johnson
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