Paula Deen has become an American phenomenon, overcoming poverty, doubt and agoraphobia to achieve success and acclaim she could never have imagined. A native of Albany, Georgia, she was living the American dreamâ€”married to her high school sweetheart, mother of two adorable boys - when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200 and started â€œThe Bag Lady,â€ a home-based meal delivery service that marked the start of her professional cooking. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering â€œlunch-and-love-in-a-bag,â€ beginning in June 1989, Paula turned around her life by using what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.
Now the author of 14 cookbooks which have sold more than 8,000,000 copies, she began her bimonthly magazine, Cooking with Paula Deen, which has a circulation of more than 1,000,000 today. In addition to her own television shows, she has visited virtually every network morning show, every daytime or late night talk show, has appeared in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles and thousands of websites.
Ever grateful for all she has been blessed with, Paula and her family continue to give back to the community. Paula is a member of the board of the Bethesda Home for Boys, works tirelessly for Americaâ€™s Second Harvest and partners with Smithfield Foods Helping Hungry Homesâ„¢ which has donated protein for more than 10,000,000 meals for Americaâ€™s hungry.
Success hasnâ€™t changed Paula; she is the same genuine, warm and caring soul today as she was when she first appeared on the scene.