Ree Drummond, the woman behind The Pioneer Woman empire, is one of the most popular food media personalities of the last few years.
Many among us have grown to love her, thanks to her humble personality and delicious southern-style comfort cooking. She built a solid fan base through her blog, highly-rated television show, as well as her best-selling books.
However, what many don't know is that Drummond didn't always start out with the mindset of becoming famous.
Born Ann Marie Smith in Bartiesville, Oklahoma, Drummond always had big dreams. She wanted to become a journalist, so upon graduating high school in 1987, she moved to Los Angeles, California to study at the University of Southern California. She switched majors, from journalism to gerontology, the study of old age, before graduating in 1991. She had plans to go to law school, but she got derailed when she unexpectedly met her husband, Ladd Drummond, also known as "Marlboro Man."
After their 1996 nuptials, Drummond moved with her husband to a ranch in the small town of Pawhuska in Oklahoma. They started growing their family, and now have four children - Alex, Paige, Bryce and Todd.
However, being away from her parents and siblings for so long started to take a toll on Drummond, so she started a blog in 2006 to help her stay in touch with them. This was the simple idea that gave way to Drummond's multi-million dollar brand.