Hollywood, being an institution that has existed for more than a century, has witnessed a string of historical figures throughout its history. In June 2010, it said goodbye to one of them, Jimmy Dean, who in life and after death, is considered an American hero. He had achieved fame and national recognition for his career as a TV host, actor, as well as the establishment of the sausage company, Jimmy Dean Sausage Company.
Much is known of him for his commercials and TV show, The Jimmy Dean Show, but in this article, we discuss the untold truths about his life and death. Read on to learn more.
Who Is Jimmy Dean?
He was born Jimmy Ray Dean on the 10th of August, 1928 in Plainview, Texas to George Otto Dean and Ruth Taylor. He never finished high school before he dropped out and pursued a career as a professional entertainer.
Jimmy Dean started his life as an entertainer as a country music singer, recording his first hit song, Bumming Around in 1953. His career as a TV host began a year after he gained national exposure, hosting the radio program, Town and Country Time on WARL-AM. Shortly after making his career debut on the radio, he moved to TV, debuting at WMAL-TV and working for other media outlets like WTOP-TV and CBS, where he hosted The Morning Show. His famous The Jimmy Dean Show ran between September 1958 and June 1959.
In addition to his TV career, he was also an entrepreneur, who established the popular Jimmy Dean Sausage Company.
Jimmy Dean was married twice, first to Mary Sue and then to Donna Meade Dean; he had a total of three children. The iconic entertainer died on the 13th of June, 2010 in Varina, Virginia. At the time of his death, Jimmy Dean was survived by his wife, children, and granddaughters.
His Mother Taught Him How to Play The Piano
Throughout Jimmy Dean’s long and successful music career as a country singer, he was well known for his brilliance on the piano and all thanks go to his mother, Ruth Taylor, who taught him how to play the instrument at a very young age.
He fell in love with music and was fueled by a passion to become an entertainer that eventually led him to drop out of high school.
He Served In The United States Air Force
Jimmy Dean is known to be an American hero in many ways – as a country singer, a TV host and the founder of the beloved sausage company but another way you may not have known Jimmy to be a hero was his time serving in the United States Air Force.
He served in the US military in the 1940s as a serviceman in World War II and he was stationed at the Bolling Air Force Base. He was with the military between 1944 and 1948. Before joining the military at the age of 16, he was a member of the Merchant Marines.
Jimmy Dean Did Not Write His First Song
It is not news that a lot of singers employ songwriters to write songs for them, and Jimmy Dean was not exempt from this phenomenon at the beginning of his life as a country singer. His first hit song, Bumming Around was written by Pete Graves who was contracted by the 4 Star Label.
He Was Close Friends With President George Bush
Jimmy Dean had an enviable life and it seems there is one more reason to envious. He was a close friend of the former US President, and he reportedly hosted the President multiple times on his Big Bad John 110-foot yacht. The two met when he hosted his show in Nashville.
Jimmy Was Phased Out Of His Sausage Company
Jimmy Dean’s sausage company is one of the reasons why his name was revered in life and death but it wasn’t all sunshine for him. After the company was sold to Consolidated Food, the new owners of the company, Sara Lee Corporation began to force him out of the company, first by removing him from spokesman duties and then later from management duties. He eventually sold all of his stock except one.
He Was Inducted Into The Country Music Hall of Fame Before His Death
Although the actual induction happened after his death in October 2010, the plans to induct Jimmy Dean into the Country Music Hall of Fame had existed while he was alive. He was nominated for the induction in February 2010, four months before his death.
Dean Had Health Problems
Jimmy Dean died at the age of 81 but his death was unexpected according to his wife. He suffered from a couple of health problems, but none that was supposedly severe enough to lead to his death. He passed away while he was eating dinner in front of the television.