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.
According to New York Times, in just four years, the blog's value reached one million dollars. In 2011, Drummond was offered her own show on Food Network, and she also began to expand into other business ventures, including authoring several cookbooks, a memoir titled Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, and a children's book.
The foodie also has her own magazine, a home and kitchen line at Walmart, and she opened up a restaurant in Pawhuska that sees an average of 6,000 visitors per day. When you consider that only 3,500 people live in the tiny town, that's a very impressive number.
On top of all her achievements, Drummond married into one of the wealthiest families in the country. The Drummonds own 433,000 acres of land in and around Oklahoma and Kansas, which makes them the 23rd largest land owners in the United States.
Since 2006, the family business, Drummonds Land & Cattle Co., reportedly received $23.9 million from the Bureau of Land Management so they could protect the wild horses and burros on their properties. As per Daily Mail's report, co-owner Marlboro Man only employs four people on the ranch, and the business makes approximately $2.5 million every year.
Add up the wealth she acquired through marriage and through her incredibly successful brand, Drummond is estimated to have a net worth of $50 million, according to Celebritynetworth.com. However, her personal net worth is a lot lower at $8 million, and counting.
Drummond's worth is expected to keep growing as she and her husband continue to expand their empire. The couple will soon be opening a hotel in Pawhuska, and we have no doubt that it will be just as successful as all of their other ventures.