Richest Person in Alabama is Jimmy Rane

Yella Fella Jimmy Rane

Yella Fella Jimmy Rane

MSN and Forbes just put up a list of the richest person in each state. Jimmy Rane made the top of the list for Alabama.



Founder of lumber business Great Southern Wood, Jimmy Rane is better known as the Yella Fella, his cowboy alter-ego that appears in his company’s TV commercials. After reading about how Frank Perdue had branded chicken, Rane decided to brand a different commodity product, lumber. His gun-toting, horse-riding Yella Fella character fights bandits in company-branded westerns, some of which barely mention lumber at all. No matter: The ads are bizarre enough to be memorable, and they helped create a famous name in a previously unbranded category. Great Southern Wood now hauls in more than $700 million in revenue a year.

Rane first got into the lumber business by accident. As a law school student in 1970, he stepped in to mediate a family dispute over his father-in-law’s estate and ended up taking over a small business that manufactured fence posts. He tried to sell off the machinery but couldn’t get rid of it all. So instead he put the machines back to work as part of a side business, while he served as a county judge. Eventually he turned full-time to the lumber company, and he is still CEO and chairman today.



Comments are closed.