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Dolly Parton has long credited her dad for her incredible work ethic — but who is Dolly’s father, exactly?
The legend herself, Dolly Parton, was born in 1946 to Robert Lee Parton and Avie Lee Caroline. This Tennessee native grew up in a sharecropping family – meaning hard work was the core of their values. Tireless days of work on the farm meant that Robert never learned to read or write – but he didn’t let that stop him from making his mark.
The Patriarch of Dolly’s family followed in his father’s footsteps and became a sharecropper himself. He and Dolly’s mother, Avie, took care of their 12 children and worked to instill a sense of humility and love in their little ones.
According to Dolly, her father was “a knowledgeable farmer, shrewd dealmaker, and skilled tradesman” who never let hardships get in the way of him from providing for his family.
No matter what troubles life threw on Robert and his family, he never lost his sense of humor. He had the ability to see the good in things and stayed humble even when Dolly’s success began to make the Parton family’s lives a little bit more comfortable.
Together, Dolly and Robert launched the Imagination Library, a program that provides an age-appropriate book each month for children from birth to age five. While Dolly’s father was proud of everything his daughter accomplished, he was most proud of her drive to give back on the largest scale possible.
Check out the video below where Dolly Parton and her parents have a chat and sing a little. It’s a real treasure!