The Digital Journalist
Selected photos from Michael O'Brien's The Face of Texas.
© Michael O'Brien

Michael O'BrienWatch a video clip of Michael O'Brien discussing Kinky Friedman.
(Quicktime required)

Kinky Friedman (Kerrville, 1993) - Kinky Friedman has made a career of being an irreverant, iconoclastic, and boisterous anomaly - a Texas Jew. Born Richard Friedman on November 1, 1944, in Chicago, Illinois, Friedman and his family moved to Houston when he was a year old, then moved again - dividing their time between Austin in winter and Kerrville in summer.

"I was born in Chicago, lived there a year, couldn't find work," said Friedman. "So I moved to Texas, where I haven't worked since."

Friedman - whose nickname presumably came from his unruly, copious head of hair - has had many lives, including counselor at his family's 400-acre ranch camp for children. Plan II Honors Program student at the University of Texas at Austin. Peace Corps volunteer, singer-songwriter for and founder of the cult-famous Texas Jewboys band, prolific writer of mystery novels and other books. Texas Monthly columnist, and animal advocate and founder of Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch. He also calls himself a "professional friend-of-presidents," specifically Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. "I call myself the new Billy Graham," he said.