As a consummate music star, people who knew Jimmy Dean in his formative years would not recognize this small, impoverished boy who could barely afford his daily bread. They would not recognize this boy whose only form of clothing was sugar sacks, which were made into clothes by his struggling mother, who earned her living as a hairdresser. You will definitely not recognize the frustrated boy who had to drop out of school because every time he showed his face in public he was endlessly humiliated and ridiculed by his classmates. Jimmy’s life is the chronicle of a case of “grass to grace”, he made a quantum leap from his poor origins to one of the legendary entertainers of his time.
According to the entertainment icon, his tough upbringing contributed much to his success. He said the constant lack of basic amenities in his family provided him with the burning desire and entrepreneurial spirit he needed to succeed in his chosen career. He went on to say that every time he received his daily dose of ridicule for his sack clothes, his apartment, or the fact that his mother was a hairdresser, a fire burned inside him, and the only way to put out that fire was to become a great success and show them that he was just as good as them, if not better.
Jimmy Dean’s Biography
The icon was born as Jimmy Ray Dean under the zodiac sign of Leo into the Dean family on August 10, 1928, in Olton, Texas. He had to be very hard during his growing up because his family was among the poorest in the area and his father George Otto Dean could not feed the family. So his mother Ruth Tailor worked hard to make ends meet, she earned a meager income as a hairdresser to feed her children, and for her clothes, she used old discarded sugar sacks to make clothes for them. This is how great poverty was in the Dean family.
A young Jimmy Dean began his formal education, as did his comrades, but the ridicule and humiliation he had to endure at the hands of his fellow students because of his impoverished background became his downfall in the academic world. The harassment became so great that Jimmy had to drop out of school, with the decision to earn some money and improve his family’s standard of living. In the midst of his difficulties, his interest in music brought him a kind of peace, although he attributed his early interest in music to the Seth Ward Baptist Church and learning to play the piano from his mother. He also mastered other musical instruments such as the harmonica and the guitar.
At the age of 16, he joined the United States military and served under the aegis of the Marchant Marines. In early 1946 he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, and while there he tried his hand at entertainment by performing in nightclubs. At the end of his military service Jimmy became part of the Tennessee Haymakers, but later formed his own band, the Texas Wildcats. He already had moderate success when he signed his first record deal with the soon-to-be-released album Bummin Around. His first musical offering became a big hit and since then he has never looked back.
Life And Death Of The American Singer
After Jimmy had experienced unspeakable suffering as a child, he became a success in the entertainment industry. In 1991 he married the singer and songwriter Donna Meade. Donna helped Jimmy write his blunt autobiography, 30 years of sausage, 50 years of ham, at her home in Henrico County, Richmond Virginia.
Before his marriage to Donna, the legendary singer was formally married to Mary Sue Wittauer. Their union, which lasted from 1950 to 1990, produced three children – Corry Dean, Garry Dean, and Robert Dean. They also had two grandchildren named Brianna Dean, Robert’s daughter, and Caroline Taylor, Connie’s daughter.
The entertainment legend died on Sunday, June 13, 2010, at the ripe old age of 81 years in his home in Virginia after a long illness that left him confined to a wheelchair. According to his wife Donna, he was taking his meal in front of the television when she left him, only to come back to find that he was no longer responsive. Jimmy Dean was pronounced dead at 7:45 p.m. that same day.
According to some reliable sources, the deceased actor’s net worth is estimated at an astonishing $50 million, which he received from his career in the entertainment industry. Apart from his entertainment magic, Jimmy Dean was also successful in the business world, founding a pork butchery business that he ran with his brother Don. By the late 1980s, the pork company, known as the Jimmy Dean Sausage Company, was already making over $75 million in profits.
Jimmy Dean later, in 1984, sold the company to Sara Lee Corporation, but still retained a stake in it as spokesman until 2003, when Sara Lee gradually let him leave the company. The late entertainer was also a generous philanthropist, and in May 2008 he made a huge donation of $1 million to Wayland Baptist University Plainview. Jimmy’s gigantic donation set records as the most generous donation the educational institution has ever received from a single person. For his part, Jimmy was only happy to be able to give something back to the community.