Kinky Friedman

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Richard S. "Kinky" Friedman (born November 1, 1944)[1] is an American singer, songwriter, novelist, humorist, politician and former columnist for Texas Monthly who styles himself in the mold of popular American satirists Will Rogers and Mark Twain.[2] He was one of two independent candidates in the 2006 election for the office of Governor of Texas. Receiving 12.6% of the vote, Friedman placed fourth in the six-person race.



Friedman was born in Chicago to Jewish parents, Dr. S. Thomas Friedman and his wife Minnie (Samet) Friedman. The family moved to a ranch in central Texas a few years later. Friedman had an early interest in both music and chess, and was chosen at age 7 as one of 50 local players to challenge U.S. grandmaster Samuel Reshevsky to simultaneous games in Houston. Reshevsky won all 50 games, but Friedman was by far the youngest competitor.

Friedman graduated from Austin High School in Austin, Texas in 1962 and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966, majoring in Psychology. He took part in the Plan II Honors program and was a member of the Tau Delta Phi fraternity. During his freshman year, Chinga Chavin gave Friedman the nickname "Kinky" because of his curly hair.[3]

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