These days, Jim Bob Duggar works as a commercial realtor in the northwest corner of Arkansas.
Just a few short years ago, however, his primary career goal was nothing less than total cultural and political dominance over the entire United States of America.
That may sound like an exaggeration, but just about anyone who’s acquainted with the 57-year-old and his towering ambitions will tell you that it’s true.
There was a time when it looked as though the sky was the limit — but fate had other plans for Jim Bob and his massive business empire.
In recent years, the father of 19 has become one of the most reviled figures in the history of reality television.
And these days, the only time he see him on our TV screens is when he’s exiting a courthouse.
So where did it all go wrong?
Well, there’s no easy answer to that question, but if we delve into Jim Bob’s past and his bizarre system of beliefs, we might gain some insight into the odd combination of influences that created the monster we see today.
But before we get to the sordid story of Jim Bob’s life, let’s solve some of the mysteries that seem to be generating the most debate in Duggar discussion groups.
Answers to All of Your Questions About Jim Bob Duggar:
Are Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar still married?
Yes. Despite everything that he’s put her through Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are still married.
Jim Bob and Michelle tied the knot on July 21, 1984, and they welcomed their first child in March of 1988.
Interestingly, Jim Bob would probably be the first to complain if any of his kids waited so long to start a family after tying the knot.
How old is Jim Bob Duggar?
Jim Bob Duggar was born on July 8, 1965, which makes him 57 years old.
Technically, Jim Bob was born in the final year of the post-World War II baby boom.
That’s good news for Generation X, who probably has no interest in claiming this man.
What Does Jim Bob Duggar do for a living?
These days, Jim Bob Duggar earns most of his money from buying and selling real estate in the northwest corner of Arkansas.
He previously served in the Arkansas State House of Representatives, and of course, he made millions as reality TV star and producer.
How much is Jim Bob Duggar worth?
Jim Bob Duggar’s net worth is currently estimated at roughly $3.5 million.
Sources close to the former TLC star say that most of his cash comes from owning rental properties and flipping houses for a profit.
Does Jim Bob Duggar have siblings?
Jim Bob Duggar has an older sister named Deanna.
She is the mother of Amy Duggar, who has become an outspoken critic of her famous uncle.
Did Jim Bob Duggar have an affair?
No. As far as anyone knows, Jim Bob has never cheated on Michelle.
But that’s about the only type of scandal he hasn’t been involved with.
Now that the basic facts have been established, let’s dive into the past with a look at …
Jim Bob Duggar’s Family Background
Casual observers might be surprised to learn that Jim Bob was not raised in an ultra-strict, ultra-conservative evangelical household.
No, along with his sister Deanna, the Arkansas native attended a real school, hung out with friends, participated in sports and other activities — heck, he even listened to secular music!
His parents owned a real estate brokerage agency, and while the family struggled financially at times, Jim Bob recalls his childhood as a mostly happy time.
It wasn’t until he discovered the Institute for Basic Life Principles as a young adult that JB fell into the bonkers belief system that came to define his public image.
Jim Bob Duggar’s Religious Beliefs
If you watched their popular TLC reality shows, then you’re familiar with the Duggar dress code, the Duggar courtship rules, and the other insane authoritarian systems that Jim Bob forces on his children.
These practices all stem from Jim Bob’s devout adherence to the IBLP and its disgraced founder, Bill Gothard.
It’s from the IBLP and Gothard that Jim Bob gets his most controversial beliefs, including the aforementioned courtship rules (which prohibit virtually all forms of premarital physical contact) and the notion that all Christians are morally obligated to have as many children as possible.
Jim Bob and Michelle subscribe to the Quiverfull theory, which holds that Christians will one day dominate the planet by means of aggressive procreation.
That’s the main reason the Duggars breed like rabbits, which brings us to …
Jim Bob Duggar’s Children and Grandchildren
You probably knew that Jim Bob has 19 kids, but did you know he and Michelle can currently boast about their 28 grandchildren?!
Seven of those belong to Josh Duggar, who’s currently serving a 12-year sentence on child pornography charges, a development that’s left Jim Bob financially responsible for his eldest son’s offspring.
The other “blessings” (to use the Duggars’ preferred term) are spread out among Duggars who have no doubt been messed up by their upbringing — but not so much that they can’t support their own kids.
But while most of Jim Bob’s adult children are at least semi-independent, the Duggar Compound is never empty these days.
Jim Bob and Michelle’s five youngest still live at home, and Josh’s wife Anna has reportedly moved in with her brood.
Obviously, JB and Michelle are no strangers to a full cramped household — before they hit it big in the world of reality TV, they were raising 16 kids in a 2,000-square foot home with two bedrooms!
These days, the family is on much firmer financial footing, but the current situation is probably a bit of a strain on Jim Bob’s pocketbook.
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Jim Bob Duggar’s Net Worth
That brings us to one of the more fascinating aspects of Jim Bob’s life and career — his bank account.
The Duggar patriarch’s life has been a classic American rags-to-riches-to-back-to-rags tale, and few failed moguls have ever been as deserving of their misfortune as Jim Bob.
There was a time, not all that long ago, when Jim Bob was the head of a multi-million dollar media empire.
These days, the patriarch’s net worth is estimated at about $3.5 million, which is primarily the result of his real estate holdings.
Obviously, that’s not too shabby, but it’s a far cry from a few years ago, when Jim Bob was raking in millions each year from his reality shows and speaking engagements.
These days, neither a TV network nor an event in need of a keynote speaker would go anywhere near the former golden boy of the fundamentalist community, and that’s entirely the result of …
Jim Bob Duggar’s Scandals
It was the Josh Duggar’s conviction on child pornography charges that brought Jim Bob’s empire crashing down, but that was far from the only scandal to mar the former reality star’s public image.
Jim Bob’s reputation has taken a major drubbing in recent years, largely because of allegations from insiders like his son-in-law Derick Dillard.
Long before Jill and Derick blasted Jim Bob in the Amazon documentary Shiny Happy People, the couple developed the awesome habit of exposing his lies on social media.
At one point, Jill revealed that Jim Bob forced her to go on TV and defend Josh after the world learned that he had molested her and several of his other sisters.
And Derick revealed that Jim Bob treated his children as an endless source of free labor, refusing to pay them for their many appearances on the family’s reality TV shows.
Jill says she was forced to give birth on camera and was never financially compensated for the humiliation she endured for the sake of ratings.
Yes, one of the most satisfying developments in Jim Bob’s recent life has been the fact that much of our information about his bizarre inner world has come from those he trusted most.
For example, it was Jill and Derick who told us about the 45-page questionnaire Jim Bob makes men fill out before they can court his daughters.
Of course, most of the previous revelations of abuse and corruption can’t hold a candle to …
Jim Bob’s Involvement In the Josh Duggar Sex Scandals
He would eventually be convicted and sentenced to 151 months in federal prison.
It was the most appalling scandal in the history of reality television — but it didn’t come as much of a surprise to those who had been watching the Duggar family closely.
That’s because Josh had a long history of predatory behavior, and for years, his father helped him to cover up his crimes.
When Josh molested five young girls — four of whom were his sisters — Jim Bob kept the scandal buried until a teenage Josh confessed to a neighbor.
Facing pressure from the community, Jim Bob took his son to the police station — where Josh turned himself in to a cop who was a close friend of Jim Bob’s.
That cop didn’t press charges, of course, and in a bizarre but sadly predictable twist, he’s currently serving time on child molestation charges.
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Of all the revolting things that Jim Bob has been involved with, his continued protection and endorsement of proven predators such as Josh and Bill Gothard might be his most repugnant.
Many within his own community believe that Jim Bob should be serving time alongside his eldest son.
A humbler, more self-aware man might have moved far away to start a new life where no one knows of his terrible misdeeds.
But not Jim Bob! In fact, he’s still seeking public office!
Jim Bob Duggar’s Political Career
From 1999 to 2003, Jim Bob was a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives.
He and many others believed that this was just the beginning of a brilliant career in politics — but of course, they were all wrong.
Jim Bob has run for office several times since, but each campaign would prove unsuccessful.
About five years after he left the Arkansas House of Representatives to launch a losing bid for the US Senate, Jim Bob’s family would become rich and famous in the world of reality television.
JB was clearly convinced that this was the boost his political career needed — but once again, he was dead wrong.
In a shocking display of chutzpah, Jim Bob ran for the Arkansas State Senate for a third time in 2021, despite the fact that his son had recently been arrested for child pornography.
The results were predictable to everyone except Jim Bob:
He finished third in a race of four, securing a paltry 15 percent of the vote.
Yes, Jim Bob can’t even get along with his own family, but he still thinks that he can win the hearts and minds of the American electorate.
There’s a scene in Shiny Happy People where Jim Bob’s niece Amy Duggar reveals that when she was young, she believed her famous uncle would one day be elected president.
Jim Bob seems to be laboring under a similar delusion to this day.
And sadly, his delusions of grandeur are anything but harmless.
Jim Bob’s frustration over his own failure is surely one of the factors that’s transformed him into the petty tyrant we know today.
And while Jim Bob is entirely to blame for his many shortcomings, it’s his wife and children — especially his daughters — who have been made to suffer the most.