Big in Dallas: 7 Local Celebrities Only Locals Would Know

Dallas-Fort Worth loves news about its hometown celebrities and it has a ton of them, from sports figures to singers, actors and celebrity chefs not to mention its many influential business leaders.

But this article isn’t about Dirk Nowitzki, Mark Cuban, Jerry Jones, Norah Jones, Dean Fearing, Stephan Pyles, H. Ross Perot, Ross Perot Jr. or the host of other well-known national and international celebs that call Dallas home.

We are here to talk about some of Dallas-Fort Worth’s more eccentric personalities that you will undoubtedly hear about or encounter if you move here. These folks may not be widely known outside of DFW, but here in North Texas they are superstars.

1. The Soupman

You may be thinking of the Seinfeld version, but Dallas’s Soupman is famous in his own right, and nicer. His real name is David Timothy, and he began feeding the homeless by driving around in a beaten-up van while blaring the theme to Rocky on exterior speakers. Today, his ministry is thriving and includes putting up the homeless in a posh hotel on Christmas Eve.

2. John Wiley Price

John Wiley Price, a political legend, has held office in Dallas County for more than 30 years. The long-time civil rights promoter wields enormous power, and let’s just say he doesn’t shy away from controversy. This spring, a federal jury exonerated Price for bribery and fraud after a long-running FBI investigation in what can only be described as an embarrassing defeat for federal prosecutors.

3. Tim Madigan

Author and former Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter has been sharing what he learned through his friendship with Fred Rogers for many years. The relationship was originally chronicled in Madigan’s 2006 book, “I’m Proud of You: My Friendship With Fred Rogers,” but thousands around Dallas-Fort Worth have heard him speak at schools, churches and civic group gatherings in the ensuring years about the profound impact Rogers had on his life.

4. Clay Cooley

Hey guys, if you move to Dallas and you turn on your TV, you will see Clay Cooley. He’s that mildly annoying car salesman that every city seems to have. You’ll soon have his trademark saying bumping around in your brain: “Shop me first. Shop me last. Either way, come see Clay!”

5. Keyboard Bob

A writer once called him “the most famously quirky guy to wander East Dallas.” His real name is Bob Crawford and the mentally disabled and once-homeless man his been playing a portable keyboard in East Dallas establishments for years where the locals know him and look after him.

6. Candy Evans

Dallas residents who want the latest luxury real estate news and insider gossip about DFW residential real estate turn to blogger Candy Evans and her blog, candysdirt.com. A colorful local character, she has one of those bigger-than-Texas personalities even though, technically, she wasn’t born here.

7. Tim DeLaughter

In the’90s, Tim DeLaughter was known around North Texas for his lead role in the distinctive alt-rock group Tripping Daisy, which met an untimely end when its lead guitarist died of a drug overdose in 1999. A year later, DeLaughter emerged with the robe-wearing rock group Polyphonic Spree. While DeLaughter has received fame beyond Dallas, he’s still very much a local treasure.

Kerry Curry