Duck Dynasty ended up being an unanticipated hit as soon as it first appeared on A&E in 2012, yet the household behind the show was running their empire long prior to the cameras started rolling. The agency featured top top the famous reality show, Duck Commander, was established by the Robertson family means back in 1972 — 40 years prior to A&E started telling your story. The organization is naught if not a family-centric one, v patriarch Phil Robertson heading up the company with his wife and children. One of the most significant of those kids is 47-year-old Willie Robertson, that was make CEO that Duck Commander.

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Before the landing that illustrious title and prior to the success of Duck Dynasty, Willie led a various lifestyle. Here"s what Willie Robertson was doing before the Duck Dynasty fame.

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Willie met his wife Korie (née Howard) at the church camp Ch-Yo-Ca as soon as he remained in the fourth grade. The pair married in January 1992, as soon as Willie was only a year out of high school. The pair attend Harding college together, where Willie learned business. He graduated from the University the Louisiana in ~ Monroe (formerly recognized as Northeast Louisiana University) in 1995. 

Before Duck Dynasty, Willie and Korie had actually three children: man Luke, Bella, and Sadie Robertson. They fostered a Taiwanese exchange student, Rebecca, that has due to the fact that become part of the family, and also have likewise got two adopted sons, Willie Jr. And also Rowdy, the latter of whom was embraced during the show"s run.

Willie to be exposed come his family"s Duck Commander business his entire life, but he chose to occupational a common straight-out-of-college task in his 20s. Rather of diving straight into the family members business, Willie spent some time working as a counselor in ~ a church camp, which is wherein he picked up his hand-operated experience in business. That gained further experience as soon as he chose to open another company, Buck Commander, in 2006. While Duck Commander concentrates on duck hunting, Willie"s Buck command brand concentrates on deer searching — another of his passions. The company sells searching DVDs and gear, and has appeared on the outdoor Channel thanks to Willie"s company acumen.

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Willie Robertson was a huge part that the reason that Duck Dynasty even became a thing in the an initial place, as he offered his company experience and his education from Harding University and the University the Louisiana in ~ Monroe to develop Duck Commander into a massive organization worth millions of dollars. When Willie dove right into the household biz head first, he additionally decided to press the agency into the entertain industry, according to The brand-new York Times.

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"I had the ability to watch the family company from afar," Willie claimed of his time far from Duck Commander running Buck Commander. "I was able to come in through a the majority of energy and a vision for growing it even bigger."

When he started working at Duck Commander, Willie choose up top top the fact that while his father, Phil Robertson, had been maybe to develop a an excellent business from the ground up, he had actually "pretty lot run the end of ideas." that added, "He didn"t know just how to take it come the next level, and it can have started a downward slide, prefer a lot of family members businesses do." v Willie"s insight, Duck Commander ended up being much, much more than just a household business. 

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Speaking to Sports Spectrum TV, Willie described how his family members was discovered and how they became so effective as the people behind Duck Dynasty. The town hall his household members communicate with one one more while farming their company, Willie witnessed them much more as a cast of characters than as his relatives, and realized the their story could work ~ above television. Despite the business being really heavily centered on hunting, he want the present to appeal come women and children as well, therefore instead concentrated Duck Dynasty on the family members unit and how they activate the business and also their personal lives together.

It took some convincing from Willie to obtain the family on board through the plan. His father to be the most resistant the the lot, stating that he was "already as famous as that come be." as soon as the family was top top board, Willie had actually to go around finding a network that would buy right into his vision the the show. The was simple decision for Willie when A&E come knocking. The felt that the network had actually the right family values, and would respect the Robertsons" worths in your taping that the show. 2 pilot episodes of Duck Dynasty later, and also the remainder was history.