Famed country singer, actor and entrepreneur Jimmy Ray Dean was
born on August 10, 1928, in Olton, Texas, to working-class parents.
Raised in Plainview, Dean's Depression-era upbringing saw him
experience abject poverty. His father floated in and out of Jimmy's
early life, once slaughtering the young boy's pet goat in order to
put food on the table. His mother sewed clothes for Dean and his
siblings using sugar sacksóclothes that brought Dean heavy ridicule
from his peers. Dean later credited this hard-knock upbringing with
giving him his entrepreneurial spirit, and burning desire to
succeed. "I think the kids in school that laughed at the clothes
that we wore and the house that we lived in and then my mother had
to cut hair ... I think that was a good motivator," Dean later told
reporters. "Every time they laughed at me, they just built a fire
and there was only one way to put it outóto try and show 'em I was
as good as they were."
Dean died June 13, 2010, at the age of 81.