Jimmy Dean Dead at 81

Jimmy Dean, known as a country legend and sausage king, died Sunday, June 14, 2010 at the age of 81.

Jimmy Dean’s wife, Donna Meade Dean, told the Associated Press Dean died of natural causes in front of the TV set in their Virginia home while she was out of the room.

Jimmy Dean is probably best known for his sausages, but he was also a Grammy winning country music artist. His 1961 hit Big Bad John won a Grammy for Best Country and Western Recording.

Jimmy Dean also had a career on television. He starred in The Jimmy Dean Show, in the ’50s and early ’60s and CBS News’ The Morning Show. He also performed on The Ed Sullivan Show and has been a guest on many talk shows and game shows.

Then there was of course his sausage business. The Jimmy Dean Meat Co. was founded by Jimmy Dean in 1969 and was bought by Sara Lee Corporation in 1984. Jimmy Dean stayed on as a spokesman for 19 years after Sara Lee Corp. bought the company.

Jimmy Dean leaves behind his second wife, Donna Meade Dean, three children and two granddaughters.

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