Hagan wins a $50,000 college scholarship and gets the crown for one year. Her platform, the issue she will promote during her reign, is fighting child sexual abuse.
Hagan left her native Alabama for New York at 18 with less than $1,000 in her pocket. She began competing in pageants when she was 13 and tried for Miss New York in 2010 and 2011 before winning last year. The petite contestant defeated Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers, who took second, and Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton, who finished third.
This year, some of the contestants' back-stories made headlines. Miss Montana was the pageant's first contestant with autism and Miss District of Columbia plans to undergo a preventive double mastectomy after the competition to reduce her risk of breast cancer.
California was represented by Garden Grove native Leah Cecil.
The 92nd Miss America annual show held this year at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip is the culmination of a week of preliminary competitions and months of preparations for the titleholders from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.