Paula Deen, born on January 19, 1947, is an American cooking show host, T.V. personality, author, and owner of various restaurants. She started her cooking career quite late with a catering business but soon became famous for her southern cooking. She has since launched restaurants, authored books on cooking, and appeared on cooking shows. Furthermore, she has won a Daytime Emmy Award for her show, “Paula’s Home Cooking.” Deen then expanded her restaurant business and launched her own magazine, kitchenware, and food products. She also started her own firm, launched a digital network, released more cookbooks, introduced a clothing line, and opened new restaurants. She’s had an accomplished career, and it is our pleasure to celebrate her right here.
Paula Ann Hiers Deen
January 19, 1947
Paula Ann Hiers Deen was born on January 19, 1947, in Albany, Georgia, to Wayne Hiers and Corrie Hiers. She grew up in her maternal grandparent’s home, and it was from her grandmother, Irene Paul, that she learned the art of cooking. She attended Albany High School, graduating in 1965, after which she married her high school sweetheart, Jimmy Deen. Deen’s father passed away in 1966 at the age of 40; her mother passed four years later. These tragic events, in addition to the challenge of raising her two children, and being robbed at gunpoint while working as a bank teller, were a period of cumulative adversity. This was so overwhelming for her that she suffered frequent panic attacks and bouts of agoraphobia.
In 1987, Deen moved to Savannah, Georgia, with her sons and took a job in a hospital. In 1989, she launched her catering service, The Bag Lady, which entailed cooking lunch for her colleagues in the hospital in lunch bags that her sons delivered. This marked the beginning of Deen’s professional cooking career. She opened her first restaurant, The Lady, in 1991 at a hotel in Savannah, and the business flourished. She moved to a larger space in downtown Savannah in 1996 and rebranded it as The Lady & Sons, marking the crucial role that her two sons played in the business. The Lady & Sons gained a large customer base in the years that followed.
In 1998, she published “The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook,” a compilation of some of her favorite recipes. The release of the book heralded Deen’s rise as a celebrity chef, as it sold close to 70,000 copies in one day and led to the launch of “Paula’s Home Cooking,” her television show on the Food Network in 2002. The show topped the network’s ratings and, in 2007, earned Deen an Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Lifestyle Host.’ The success of the show led Deen to create two more cooking shows for the network: “Paula’s Party” (2006 — 2008) and “Paula’s Best Dishes” (2008 — 2013).
By 2012, she had released several cookbooks, launched the “Cooking with Paula Deen” magazine, and published her autobiography, which was a “New York Times” bestseller. She also opened many restaurants at casinos across the country and developed lines of kitchenware and food products.
In 2013 her contract with The Food Network was not renewed, following her confession in a lawsuit regarding the use of racial slurs. Retail outlets stopped selling her branded merchandise in their stores. Other companies also severed their ties with her.
In 2014 she launched The Paula Deen Network, a subscriber-based digital network. In 2015, she undertook several other ventures, including launching a mobile game and releasing another cookbook that made the “New York Times” bestseller list. Deen also started a podcast and a radio show. In 2016, she launched two new television shows and a clothing line. Deen opened many new restaurants and released more cookbooks, including “Paula Deen’s Air Fryer Cookbook” (2016) and “Favorite Recipes of Her Lady and Her Friends” (2017).
Deen married her husband in 1965, and they had two sons — Jamie and Bobby. The couple divorced in 1989. Since 2004, she has been married to Michael Groover, a tugboat captain in the Port of Savannah, Georgia.
She begins her professional catering career with the launch of The Bag Lady, a business that entails cooking lunch for her colleagues at work.
She opens a new restaurant, The Lady & Sons, in downtown Savannah.
Deen publishes her first cookbook, “The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook.”
Deen’s very own cable-television show on the Food Network, “Paula’s Home Cooking,” premieres.
Deen wins the Daytime Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Lifestyle Host’ for her show.
The Paula Deen Network, a subscriber-based digital platform, launches.
Why We Love Paula Deen
Deen’s warm, charming, and welcoming persona is endearing. She has a lovable personality.
She has a distinctive Southern accent that makes her a joy to listen to. Her unique accent makes us pay extra attention to her cooking instructions.
Her inspiring story
Who doesn’t love a rags-to-riches story? Deen worked her way to the top through sheer determination and dedication. That is something we admire.
5 Surprising Facts
She worked as a bank teller
Deen worked as a bank teller to make ends meet.
She was once robbed at gunpoint
While working as a bank teller, she was robbed at gunpoint, an incident that left her traumatized for a long time.
She launched her catering business at 42
In 1989, Deen launched her catering business, The Bag Lady, when she was 42, to supplement her income.
She wears fake eyelashes
Deen has revealed that she wears fake eyelashes and cannot leave home without them.
She has pets
Deen owns three pet goats!
Paula Deen FAQs
How much is Paula Deen worth now?
Deen has a net worth of $16 Million
Is Paula Deen still married?
Deen has been married to Michael Groover, her second husband, for over a decade.
What does Paula Deen do now?
She operates a restaurant and is a celebrity chef.
Paula Deen’s birthday dates