NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Dolly Parton has held a successful career as a singer, songwriter, actress and businesswoman. The native east Tennessean was born on January 19, 1946, in a one-room cabin in Sevier County as one of 12 children. Parton will be turning 74 Sunday, and throughout her life, she has contributed a long list of work towards the betterment of her home state.
The eight-time Grammy winner sang her way into the hearts of many Americans with songs such as “Coat of Many Colors,” “9 to 5,” “I Will Always Love You,” and more. Her film career includes notable movies 9 to 5, Steel Magnolias, and Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, a made-for-TV film based on her childhood. In 1986, Silver Dollar City became Dollywood, as Parton added the popular theme park operation to her list of projects.
She also is the founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until age 5, no matter their family’s income.
She founded the library as a tribute to her father, who never learned to read.
The Library was launched in 1995, originally to give books to children in Dolly’s native Sevier County, but has since gone worldwide.
As of 2019, the library had gifted more than 130 million free books.