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Michelle Duggar: Beloved Reality TV Matriarch

Brief Profile

Full Name Michelle Ruark Duggar
Birthday September 13, 1966
Birthplace Springdale, Arkansas, USA
Parents Garrett Ruark and Rachel Ruark
Siblings 3 sisters
Spouse Jim Bob Duggar (m. 1984)
Children 19 (9 daughters, 10 sons)
Height 5‘4"
Net Worth Estimated $3.5 million
Occupation Reality TV star, author, philanthropist
Social Media Instagram, Facebook

Michelle Duggar, born on September 13, 1966, is an American reality TV star most known for her role in the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting. She is also an advocate for conservative values and homeschooling.

Early Life and Family

Michelle was born in Springdale, Arkansas in 1966 to parents Garrett and Rachel Ruark. She was raised alongside her three sisters in a devout Christian household. Her parents instilled conservative values and a deep faith from an early age. As a teenager, Michelle was interested in politics and thought about becoming a lawyer.

Her life path changed forever when she met Jim Bob Duggar at a church camp in 1984. Jim Bob swept Michelle off her feet, and the two married just months later when Michelle was only 17 years old. Within a year, they welcomed their first child Josh. Michelle soon quit college and dedicated herself to being a stay-at-home mom. She fully embraced the Duggar family values of modesty, thriftiness, and submission to her husband.

Rise to Fame on 19 Kids and Counting

As their family exponentially grew over the years, the Duggars became fascinated with micro-preemie multiple births. This interest led to their first TV appearances in the early 2000s on Discovery Health Channel specials.

In 2008, they landed their own TLC reality show called 17 Kids and Counting documenting their life raising their supersized family. It was an instant hit, with viewers enthralled by the Duggars‘ old-fashioned ways. The family was featured on numerous talk shows and became tabloid celebs.

As the family kept expanding, TLC renamed the show first to 18 Kids and Counting and finally to 19 Kids and Counting. It ran for 10 seasons until it was canceled in 2015 after the oldest Duggar son Josh was involved in scandals.

Life and Advocacy Today

After some time out of the public eye, the Duggars returned in 2019 with a new spinoff show called Counting On. It focuses on the older Duggar children starting families of their own.

Michelle and Jim Bob have continued their advocacy through public speaking, books, and social media. They lobby for conservative causes like banning abortion and share parenting and marriage advice.

After suffering a miscarriage in 2011, Michelle became an advocate for stillborn/miscarriage awareness. She‘s received awards for supporting pregnancy centers steering women from abortion.

Even as a grandmother of 23 (and counting!), Michelle maintains a busy schedule and commitment to family values. She continues to share her experiences and inspire others to live with faith, purpose, and devotion.

Fun Facts About Michelle

  • Her favorite TV show as a kid was The Brady Bunch – she identified with being part of a large family.
  • She met Jim Bob at 15 and he proposed at 16, but her dad made them wait until 17 to marry.
  • She has spent over 15 years of her life pregnant.
  • She prepares and freezes up to 250 lbs of food every month to feed the family.
  • She follows the quiverfull approach, letting God determine family size and avoiding birth control.
  • Her daily schedule starts at 5am with devotions and she‘s in bed by 8:30pm.

Michelle Duggar lives serving God, family, and advocating conservative Christian beliefs. She unexpectedly found fame as the beloved matriarch of one of reality TV‘s most famous families. Her devoted fans continue to be inspired by her faith, wisdom, and natural gift for motherhood.