Jimmy Dean, Country Music Singer and Breakfast Sausage King, Dead at 81

Hall-of-famer had a lucrative second career marketing meat brand

Jimmy Dean – country music singer, actor and breakfast sausage king – died on Sunday. He was 81.

Dean, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, recorded several hits, including “Bummin Around” and 1961’s “Big Bad John” for which he won a Grammy.

He also had a television show, "Country Style," in the 1950s on CBS.

But Dean was perhaps best known for his brand of breakfast sausages, which he launched in 1969. According to the Washington Post, a “conservative estimate (in the 1990s) of Dean’s fortune from his sausage empire and other business interests was $75 million.”

Dean sold the company to Sara Lee in 1994, and was the brand’s spokesman until 2004.

He is survived by his second wife, Donna, three children and two granddaughters.