Paula Deen (born January 19, 1947) is an American cook, restaurateur, author, actress and Emmy Award-winning television personality.
Deen resides in Savannah, Georgia, where she owns and operates The Lady & Sons restaurant with her sons, Jamie and Bobby Deen. She has also published five cookbooks. Though married in 2004 to Michael Anthony Groover, she continues to use the surname Deen from her first marriage professionally.
Paula Deen was born in Albany, Georgia. As documented in the Food Network special Chefography and on her official Web site, both her parents died before she was 23 and an early marriage ended in divorce. Deen suffered from agoraphobia and would not leave her house. She relied on cooking to help deal with her condition. In 1986, she felt well enough to take a job as a bank teller. After that she and her sons moved to Savannah. In 1989, she divorced Jimmy Deen, to whom she had been married since 1965, and expanded her cooking experience into a catering service. She made sandwiches and other meals, which her sons Jamie and Bobby delivered.