According to the sign in the yard, famed Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant was born in this house a couple of miles southeast of Fordyce on highway 8.

Sometimes biographies will list his birth town as Kingsland, and this house is about as close to Kingsland as it is to Fordyce. But Kingsland has a famous son in Johnny Cash and Bryant went to Fordyce High School where he played for the fightin' Redbugs, so by local convention Fordyce gets to claim him.

In 1981 he became the winningest coach in football history. He got his nickname "Bear" from an imprudent act of youthful vigor in which he wrestled a bear at a carnival.

RTJ -- 3/1/04

Arkansas Travelogue home page | TWDE