Dave Ramsey Biography

(American Businessman, Radio Show Host and Author Known for His Book ‘The Total Money Makeover’)

Birthday: September 3, 1960 (Virgo)

Born In: Antioch, Tennessee, United States

Dave Ramsey is an American entrepreneur, financial counselor, author, motivational speaker, radio host, podcast host, and TV personality. Motivated by his father, he became an entrepreneur when he was in school. By the time he was in college, Ramsey had ventured into several businesses. He built rental real-estate portfolios worth millions after he began his career as a licensed real-estate investor under his firm. However, a bank acquisition led him to bankruptcy, and he had to wrap up his business. After gaining a bit of financial stability, Ramsey found solace in Christianity and began a career as a financial counselor, with a Christian perspective. He eventually authored books on financial management, hosted radio and TV shows, wrote columns, and launched numerous ventures to make a name for himself as a personal finance expert. Ramsey also makes efforts to educate people on the ways of using monetary resources judiciously, through his 'Financial Peace University,' speaking in churches and community centers. Ramsey advises everyone to follow his prime mantra, "Avoid debt at all costs."

Quick Facts

Also Known As: David Lawrence Ramsey III

Age: 63 Years, 63 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Sharon Ramsey

children: Daniel Ramsey, Denise Ramsey, Rachel Cruze

Born Country: United States

Public Speakers Radio Personalities

Height: 1.78 m

U.S. State: Tennessee

Notable Alumni: University Of Tennessee--Knoxville

More Facts

education: University Of Tennessee--Knoxville

Childhood & Early Life
David Lawrence Ramsey III was born on September 3, 1960, in Antioch, Tennessee, U.S. He attended the 'College of Business Administration' at the 'University of Tennessee,' Knoxville, and graduated with a BSc in finance and real estate.
Ramsey credits his father for his strong work ethic. In the documentary 'Live Like No One Else,' based on his life, he shares a story about what gave him his first lesson about the value of money. Ramsey was 12 when he asked his father to buy him a popsicle. His father replied that he was old enough to earn. This conversation inspired Ramsey to become an entrepreneur. He got a pack of business cards printed for his first venture, a lawn-care business.
Following this, Ramsey continued to venture into various businesses, such as leather bracelets. He eventually learned about customer service and the value of keeping promises when making business deals.
He used the profits earned from the ventures to pay for his college fees.
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Ramsey received his real-estate license after he turned 18. Soon after graduating college, he stepped into the real-estate business. Since he had a few acquaintances at local banks, he easily acquired the funding required for his real-estate deals.
He eventually began working for his real-estate firm, 'Ramsey Investments, Inc.' The business flourished, and by 1986, he had built a rental real-estate portfolio worth over $4 million. Unfortunately, his success was short-lived.
The local bank financing Ramsey's real-estate business was sold to a larger bank. The new bank demanded the pending loan payments as soon as possible. Even though Ramsey managed to pay back a significant share of the debt, he was still left with a huge outstanding amount. He was eventually unable to pay the rest of the money and thus filed for bankruptcy in September 1988.
The financial blow took away everything that he had earned so far. Ramsey, however, did not lose hope. After he recovered financially to an extent, he turned toward spiritualism to help him keep calm, mentally and emotionally.
He began reading the ‘Bible’ and would attend the local church daily. Once, while returning from the church, he met a man who was going through a substantial financial loss. Ramsey shared his story with him to motivate him and agreed to help the man and his wife by structuring a plan to help them recover from the financial loss.
The gesture gave Ramsey an idea for his next venture. Taking lessons for his past financial mistakes, he began providing financial counseling from a Christian point of view to couples at his local church.
Ramsey simultaneously attended workshops and seminars on consumer financial problems, which, combined with his own experience, helped him create a set of lessons and materials for his counseling business.
He also included the teachings of American radio personality and financial counselor Larry Burkett in his study material. Ramsey also studied the works of Ron Blue and Art Williams. Art was one of the founders of the multi-level marketing company 'Primerica.'
Equipped with enough resources, he established the financial counseling company called 'The Lampo Group.' It started with a handful of students, but within a few years, the number of students crossed 350.
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The success of 'The Lampo Group' led Ramsey to begin his counseling-based radio show called 'The Money Game' in 1992, which he co-hosted along with his friend and 'Primerica' co-founder Roy Matlock. That year, he also published his first book, 'Financial Peace.' He used his radio show to promote the book.
Ramsey launched the second radio program, mostly a spin-off of the first one, 'The Dave Ramsey Show,' on ‘iHeartRadio.’ It eventually became the third-largest radio talk show in the U.S. The radio show is now heard over more than 500 stations all over the U.S. and Canada. It also has an ‘iOS’ application and a podcast format recorded at 'Ramsey Solutions' in Franklin, Tennessee. It streams on 'YouTube' and also airs live on 'DaveRamsey.com.'
Additionally, Ramsey's financial management and money-making tips reach out to a broader audience through his numerous books, of which five are 'The New York Times' bestsellers. 'The Total Money Makeover,' published in 2003, is one of his most famous works.
In 2007, Ramsey began hosting the TV adaptation of 'The Dave Ramsey Show' on the 'Fox Business Network.' He continued as a host until the channel canceled the show in June 2010.
Ramsey had shot a pilot and six episodes of 'The Dave Ramsey Project' for ‘CBS,’ but they were never aired. He has also been featured on several talk shows, such as 'The Oprah Winfrey Show,' '60 Minutes,' and 'The Early Show.'
In 2014, 'The Lampo Group, Inc.' was renamed 'Ramsey Solutions.' It was headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee. By then, it had six divisions to supervise financial education.
Ramsey launched his online budget application 'EveryDollar' in March 2015. It lets the users plan and maintain their household budget and track the expenses and savings in the most relaxed and hassle-free manner. The application currently has over 2 million users.
An expansion to the app, 'EveryDollar Plus,’ connects the users to their respective banks to monitor their transactions and account balances. Both the apps work on ‘iOS’ and ‘Android’ devices.
Ramsey is also the founder of the 'Financial Peace University.’ This membership-based service provides video lessons on various finance-related procedures and the best practices for using monetary resources in the most judicious manner.
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The 'Financial Peace University’ faculty includes several bestselling authors and money experts, such as Rachel Cruze and Chris Hogan. Ramsey also offers sessions such as 'The Legacy Journey' and 'Smart Money Smart Kids' at various church and community organizations nationwide.
'Foundations in Personal Finance,' another venture of 'Ramsey Solutions,' is a curriculum for students on the value of saving, expenditure, and overall financial literacy. Over 4 million students in different middle schools, high schools, and universities across the nation have now subscribed to the curriculum.
Ramsey's 'SmartDollar' is an online wellness program on finance management, primarily for employees. Along with Ramsey, the program also features Rachel Cruze (his daughter) and Chris Hogan.a
Ramsey also delivers lectures on running a successful business through his playbook 'EntreLeadership.’ He has a separate venture, dedicated entirely to women empowerment, titled 'Business Boutique,' which helps women entrepreneurs plan and execute their business ideas.
The 'Ramsey Press' has published numerous fiction and non-fiction books and board games to date. Some of the publication's bestsellers are 'Business Boutique,' 'Smart Money Smart Kids,' 'Retire Inspired,' the 'Financial Peace Junior' series, and 'The Legacy Journey.'
His syndicated columns, 'Dave Says' and 'Dave Ramsey's EntreLeadership,' have been published by over 500 publishers, with more than 8 million prints circulated. The 'Dave Says' column includes questions and answers on 'The Dave Ramsey Show.'
Awards & Honors
In 2009, the 'National Association of Broadcaster' presented Ramsey the 'Marconi Award.'
He was inducted into the 'NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame' (sponsored by the ‘ASCAP’) in 2013 in Las Vegas and into the 'National Radio Hall of Fame' in 2015.
Ramsey's ''debt snowball method'' has been widely criticized, as experts have found that it defies its motive.
However, both the 'Harvard Business School' and the 'Kellogg School of Management' have found that the “snowball method” is useful for investors.
Author Helaine Olen criticized Ramsey’s calculation that suggested investors could receive a 12% average annual return with the approach, citing it "unrealistically high." According to the financial and investment advising company 'The Motley Fool,' the approach reduces the debtors' investments for retirement.
In 2010, Ramsey was criticized for his new lavish home. He justified himself on social media, saying that the property was a minor part of his net worth and that the payment was made in cash.
Family & Personal Life
Ramsey married Sharon Ramsey on June 26, 1982. They have three children: Denise Ramsey, Rachel Cruze, and Daniel Ramsey. The family lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
His daughter, Rachel Cruze, is also a financial writer and speaker. She co-wrote the book 'Smart Money Smart Kids' with Ramsey.
Ramsey is a devoted Evangelical Christian.

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