Deaths elsewhere

  • June 14, 2010 - 12:14 AM

Jimmy Dean, a country music legend for his smash hit about a workingman hero, "Big Bad John," and an entrepreneur known for his sausage brand, died on Sunday. He was 81. His wife, Donna Meade Dean, said her husband died at their Henrico County, Va., home. "He was amazing," she said. "He had a lot of talents." Dean was raised in poverty in Plainview, Texas, and dropped out of high school after the ninth grade. He went on to a successful entertainment career in the 1950s and '60s that included the nationally televised "The Jimmy Dean Show." "Big Bad John," which Dean said he wrote in less than two hours, is about a coal miner who saves fellow workers when a mine roof collapses, became a big hit in 1961 and won a Grammy. In 1969, he went into the sausage business, starting the Jimmy Dean Meat Co. in his hometown. He sold the company to Sara Lee Corp. in 1984; his fortune was estimated at $75 million in the early '90s. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in February. ASSOCIATED PRESS

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