<< IF YOU DON’T KNOW who T.D. Jakes is—if, in other words, you didn’t buy one of the 7 million books he has in print, if you’ve never seen him preach to a packed house of 8,000 souls at his Potter’s House church in South Dallas, if you haven’t seen him on CNN or BET or TBN, if you somehow missed him on the cover of Time with the headline "Is This Man the Next Billy Graham?"—then you have no idea. If you don’t know who T.D. Jakes is, then you are, most likely, white. You just don’t know. You’re in the dark.

But if you do know who Bishop Jakes is, let me hear you say, "Amen." Touch the person next to you and say, "I know who Bishop Jakes is." If you know who Bishop Jakes is, you know. You’ve watched him sweat and wipe his big, bald head with a maroon towel. You’ve heard him scream at you, brother. And he’s not afraid to let loose with some glossolalia, either. No sir. Salagadoola. He’ll do it. And he’ll get down—ha—and crawl around onstage—ha—in his custom-made suit—ha—then get back up and crack a joke about kicking his grandma in the head. Amen. He’s put Jesus in your heart.

You know it. He’s America’s best preacher.

That’s exactly what that Time article called him in 2001, the week before the towers came down and President Bush summoned him to the White House to seek his counsel. And it goes far beyond his staggering gift for mere rhetoric or theatrics.

Ah, but there’s a rub. Because Jakes isn’t just America’s best preacher; he also might be America’s wealthiest preacher. There are people who know who Jakes is—or think they know—and it makes them uneasy. They know he owns a Bentley. They know he wears a certain amount of jewelry. And they have a hard time abiding it.

"People see me on TV as a preacher and they say, [in his best Caucasian accent] ’We don’t know what else he’s doing, gosh golly. He wears a bunch of suits and he’s got a diamond ring on his finger and who is he?’ But the secret to what I do is not what you see on TV."

The secret is, first, he doesn’t sleep ("Sleep? Who needs it?"). Second, though, T.D. Jakes turns out to be as good a businessman as he is a preacher. The Potter’s House is a nonprofit church, yes. But T.D. Jakes Enterprises, that’s something else entirely. That’s about as for-profit as it gets, a multimedia empire that produces best-selling books, Grammy-nominated albums, award-winning musical plays, and, now, its biggest and bravest effort yet: this month, you can see Bishop T.D. Jakes in Woman, Thou Art Loosed: The Movie.

But first, as the Good Book says—

IN THE BEGINNING, which was 1979, Thomas Dexter Jakes was a 22-year-old part-time pastor in West Virginia. And he drove a Trans Am.

"Of all the things I thought you’d bring up, I never thought it would be the Trans Am," Jakes says, giggling. He’s sitting in the cafe at the Preston-Royal Borders on a recent morning, talking about the early days, before he moved to Dallas, and there is little doubt that the shoppers at the Preston-Royal Borders do not know who T.D. Jakes is. Immaculately dressed, wearing a dark blue window-paned suit, Jakes goes unrecognized for two hours—until a black man passing by on the sidewalk, just outside the bookstore’s windows, stops in his tracks to wave. Jakes returns the gesture but seems embarrassed about being noticed.

"Oh, man, that car was the bomb," he says, deploying the phrase gracefully, even at 47. "A 1979 silver anniversary Trans Am. It had a red dashboard that lit up and a t-top and a great sound system. I couldn’t drive a stick, but I faked it. I came to pick up my wife for a date, before we were married, in that Trans Am. Blew her away. And I did funeral processions in that car." Though he says he kept the glass tops on for the funerals.

In factual truth, 1979 was not the beginning. Before the Trans Am, young Jakes sold greens from his mother’s garden. He memorized scripture, toting around a Bible so often that he got saddled with the nickname "Bible Boy." From the age of 12 until he graduated high school, he sold Avon products. He helped clean and feed his sick father for six years, until Ernest Jakes finally died of kidney failure. And he preached so loudly in his living room that the neighbors said they could hear him all up and down the street. But the Trans Am is a better place to start.

And after Jakes married Serita in 1981 and after they hit such hard times that Jakes had to plead with the local utility to keep the electricity on in his house, he did something that would change his life forever. In 1993, he published Woman, Thou Art Loosed, a self-help book for women dealing with the pain of rape (the title came from the gospel of Luke). Jakes used $15,000 of his own money to self-publish it. Today it has sold 3 million copies.

By 1996, Jakes already had about a dozen books in print. He’d sold so many that, for instance, he could afford the electricity for not only a $600,000 house but also the bowling alley inside it. Let’s just say he’d graduated from the Trans Am. And when he held a Bible conference in Charleston that brought in such a multitude that people had to sleep in their cars, the Charleston Gazette took a shot at this preacher with the fancy house. Not that he’d done anything illegal, mind you. The money had come from publishing, not the pews. But come on. A bowling alley?

Jakes felt betrayed. Here he’d brought about $3 million into the city during that conference, and then the newspaper suggested he was a huckster because he lived in a nice house. The reporter who wrote the story had actually eaten ice cream out of the same bowl with Jakes—the same bowl.

Now, don’t believe for a second that the harsh article alone sent him packing. Heck, logistics dictated a move. He couldn’t even get enough flights in and out of the city for that conference. Jakes had outgrown Charleston. "I have always been somebody outside of the box, especially when the box is small," he says. "And that was a small box."

So in 1994, he led 50 families out of Charleston, a city of 50,000, to a new church in South Dallas. He bought a building from W.V. Grant Jr., a televangelist who no longer needed it because he’d been sent to prison for tax evasion. Jakes’ church flourished, he built a new $45 million sanctuary, and today the Potter’s House, with nearly 30,000 members, is one of the fastest-growing mega-churches in the country, approaching the size of Charleston itself. Today, Jakes and Serita live in a $3.3 million house overlooking White Rock Lake, and he gets around in a private jet. With all due respect to the silver anniversary Trans Am, the Lockheed JetStar II is really the bomb.

Which brings us back to the money thing. At the Potter’s House, when it comes time to take up the collection, everyone—even the gospel singers onstage—puts his money in a white envelope and waves it joyously over his head. Thousands of white envelopes. People singing about how happy it makes them to tithe. How can you tell that all that money goes where it should? Say, for instance, to one of the 60 or so ministries the church operates? The Potter’s House, after all, doesn’t have to file financial statements with the IRS.

One way you can tell is that the church paid for that new $45 million sanctuary in just three years. The other way you can tell is to ask a man named Ole Anthony. Anthony runs an outfit called the Trinity Foundation, which, among other things, keeps an eye on televangelists. It was the Trinity Foundation that brought down Robert Tilton after going through his trash and discovering discarded prayer requests. Trinity also helped land a man named W.V. Grant Jr. in jail. Anthony has acquired certain documents and says that Jakes’ operation appears completely aboveboard—though Anthony himself has taken a vow of poverty and hopes that Jakes will one day come around seeing things his way and do the same.

This is not likely to happen anytime soon. T.D. Jakes Enterprises, with just five fulltime employees, projects revenues this year of $15 million. And that’s not counting the movie.

THERE IS ANOTHER SECRET to what Jakes does: he’s self-conscious. The man who gets up every Sunday in front of 8,000 people and TV cameras broadcasting his sermons around the world, that man is still a bit uncomfortable with his own image.

The movie, for instance. He says, "The first time I saw it, I was so busy looking at me—How did I look? Did I sound silly?—that I had to see it a couple more times to get past, you know, that."

He doesn’t particularly enjoy being photographed, either. It makes him nervous. He stiffens and starts to look like a different man than the one who stands behind the pulpit. "That’s because when I preach, the message is the issue," he says. "I don’t worry about me. I’m distracted by what I’m saying, so I don’t think, ’Are you smiling?’"

That famous gaptoothed smile. It’s quite something, really. A child could almost put his finger through it. In conversation, it causes him to lisp. He’ll talk about it if you ask him. "I never liked the gap, and I used to not smile because of it. But I found that sometimes it was more important to smile with it than to not smile and hide it." Now his kids—he and Serita have five—have convinced him it’s his trademark.

And besides, something amazing happens when Jakes gets up to preach. In that transformation where he forgets himself and concentrates solely on the message, that lisp disappears. Curtis Wallace, the COO of T.D. Jakes Enterprises, says the same thing happens in business pitches. "He is incredible in meetings," he says. "What you see onstage can really come across in a boardroom."

It comes across in the movie, too. Woman, Thou Art Loosed is a fictional account of a woman who was raped by her mother’s boyfriend as a child and who winds up, as a result, on death row. The woman is played by Kimberly Elise, whom you might recognize from her role alongside Denzel Washington in The Manchurian Candidate. Jakes plays himself, ministering to Elise’s character in prison and preaching in church scenes, which were filmed during actual sermons.

It’s a tough film to watch, in parts. But the first time it was shown to an audience, at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival earlier this year, it won the top prize. It brought the audience to tears. "You couldn’t say Santa Barbara was the target audience for this film," says producer Reuben Cannon. "But white women stood up and said, ’Thank you for telling my story.’" It so affected a gathering of black pastors at a showing that several volunteered to pay for advertising billboards in their communities. It’s that sort of grassroots effort that has Jakes’ people estimating—reasonably—that the film could gross $20 million (it cost about a tenth of that).

There is more to talk about. As he finishes his coffee at the Preston-Royal Borders and the manager brings over a stack of books for him to sign, T.D. Jakes has finished with the past. He’s laying out his vision for the future. Jakes is involved in (though not making money on) a new 231-acre master-planned community called Capella Park, in South Dallas. Next summer, he’s again going to Atlanta to stage Mega Fest, a four-day conference that last year averaged 140,000 people on each of its four days and brought something like $150 million to the city. One day, he’d like to do it here, in his hometown, if the city could just build the infrastructure he needs to pull it off.

The lisp is leaving him.

"As America is turning brown like the leaves in the fall, it’s redefining itself," he says. "And Dallas needs to be part of the conversation. Because we need each other. And I’m saying to the black community: we can’t just function in a vacuum." Someone get him a maroon towel. "And I’m saying to the white community: you can’t ignore an Olympic-size event and millions of dollars. Because at the end of the day, Atlanta is walking away with the cheese here. Forget the moral issues. The money alone ought to be enough to drive you to do business."

And if you let him, Bishop Jakes will just keep going.

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 << Mark Cuban
Sure, he needs a haircut. And, yes, once he flew into a fit of rage and threatened to geld a D Magazine staffer for asking harmless questions about his then fiancée. But that’s exactly what we love: the rage. And the bad haircut. We love him because he still plays pickup basketball—humbly, without fuss—at the same gym he’s belonged to for years; because he matches every fine levied against him by the NBA when he does make a fuss; because he answers his own e-mail; and because he’s goofy enough to star in his own reality TV show. We love Mark Cuban because he keeps things interesting. And because, deep down in our hearts, we’re afraid that if we don’t love him, he’ll hurt us.

Herb Kelleher
A few years back we witnessed a scene that was the perfect testament to Herb Kelleher’s lovability and considerable talents as a CEO. It happened, appropriately enough, in a bar. This was before he stepped down to take a "less active" role as chairman. A group of about 20 or so new Southwest employees, in town for training, were celebrating their good fortune to be newly employed and recently trained. These were baggage handlers and flight attendants, if memory serves. Tequila shots were ordered. To a member, each raised his shot glass high in the air, and someone shouted, "To Herb!" The rest replied, "To Herb!" And they all drank. Is there another C-class executive of a Fortune 500 firm who has been so toasted? We prefer
to think not.

Rabbi Levi Olan
A rabbi organized Dallas’ first public Thanksgiving in 1861, so when Levi Olan began his service at Temple Emanu-el in 1949, he inherited a tradition of leadership that included more than his Reform congregation. His most memorable exercise of that leadership was in his Sunday broadcasts on local radio, where he delved into the wisdom of the Hebrew Bible and applied it to the problems of the time, gently leading his Southern Protestant listeners away from their stubborn segregation, for example. It helped that his words were delivered in the sonorant voice of an Old Testament prophet. But it was his vast learning and deep understanding that gave him the moral authority to guide a city.

Erykah Badu
Before Norah and after Edie, Booker T. graduated Erykah, née Erica Wright. Many did not know what to make of this exotic diva of soul who burned incense on stage and wrapped her head in voluminous material that appeared burdensome when perched atop her birdlike frame. After her 1997 debut album Baduizm dropped near the top of the charts and garnered her two Grammys, her talent trumped her eccentricity. She has since made forays into acting, earning roles in Blues Brothers 2000 and The Cider House Rules. Her next film project is House of D, a drama written and directed by David Duchovny. Of course, we are biased, but with a title like that, it’s bound to be good.

Marina Oswald
In an era of instant celebrity, where tragedies produce overnight cable TV sensations and multimillion-dollar book advances, the widow of Lee Harvey Oswald continues to live in Dallas in inconspicuous dignity. Like her counterpart, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, she prefers sunglasses and scarves to studio lights and paparazzi—and she has resolutely refused to cash in on, much less make herself the star of, the conspiracy industry that thrives on the presidential assassination 40 years ago. She has, by the very ordinariness of her life, made it a kind of meditation.

 << Jan Strimple
Whether helping women track down a discontinued perfume via her Dallas Morning News advice column, organizing a fashion show, or consulting with fine retailers on product selection, Jan Strimple is every inch the glamour guru (see her portrait on p. 61). Now 50, the redheaded model burst onto the international fashion scene in 1982 after designer Bob Mackie hired her to wear his creations in his New York show. Shortly thereafter, she was sauntering down European runways as a human clothes hanger for couture from Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, and others. Today, she speaks at national modeling conventions, trains the next generation of runway hopefuls, and rules the catwalk for charity.

 << Tom Landry
It’s not a question of the total number of wins or the number of division titles or even the number of Super Bowls. It’s the image he created for Dallas. To say "Tom Landry" is to recall a moment in history that has long past. Of course, he always had his detractors, people who criticized him for being cold and distant. In the premiere issue of D, an anonymous quote beneath a picture of the coach read: "I don’t really know any good stories about [Landry]. He’s got to be one of the most boring men in the United States." Deep down, though, people had to know that was too easy of an assessment. How could he be boring when he was a king in charge of more rogues than princes? When he died in 2000, we mourned more than the loss of an icon. We mourned the loss of an era.

John Stemmons
Tough, gruff, bow-tied, and always willing to lift a glass in the cause of wooing a potential ally, Big John designed his office (on Stemmons Freeway) so that his huge plate-glass window perfectly framed "the Village"—downtown Dallas. Intimidation, bluff, wheedling, gossip, and a huge barrel-chested laugh were only a few of the weapons in his repertoire as he fought a rear-guard action for 30 years to keep the famed Dallas oligarchy, the legacy of mentor R.L. Thornton, in control of a city that was growing too disparate, too cranky, and too rich for any one group to run. Even in grudging retreat, his joie de guerre was seemingly boundless. To foes as well as to friends, the highest honor of its day was to be invited to share a little bourbon and branch water while the setting sun reflected off the skyscrapers of the city he cherished.

Marty Haag
Once upon a time, television viewers at 10 o’clock were invited to watch something other than warehouse fires, drive-by shootings, and celebrity sightings. In those days, it was called "news." A quaint term today, it then meant beat reporting on schools, City Hall, business deals, consumer fraud, and other facets of urban life. The viewer could locate this phenomenon even then on only a few stations in the nation, and the best at it was ABC Channel 8 in Dallas. Marty Haag made it happen. He pulled together a homegrown team and sent it into the streets to ferret out whatever could be uncovered. He then put his reporters’ discoveries on the air, with little regard to their entertainment value and a lot of regard to their impact on how people lived. As a result, Channel 8 dominated the ratings, won every award in television journalism, and led, not so gently, an immature boomtown into adulthood.

 << Crazy Ray
No one has ever set the bar so high for being a fan. Crazy Ray (that’s Wilford Ray Jones) started as a rowdy vendor looking to make a sale when the Cowboys called the Cotton Bowl home. He’s been around ever since, making him the most famous Dallas Cowboy never to be on the payroll. But he does get free parking and access to all the home games, not to mention those nifty Western outfits. Though health problems have slowed him down—he had his right leg amputated below the knee in 1997—he hasn’t lost his love of cheering on the Boys and heckling Redskins fans. Oh, guess what’s on his prosthetic leg? A Cowboys logo, of course.

Ron Kirk
His parents gave him his love of politics, but only God could have given him the outsize personality that makes him so good at it. Try to argue with Ron Kirk, and he’ll cuss at you, crack a joke at your expense, and come back with a retort that disarms you—often all in the same breath. He took over a demoralized city and, with a perfect combination of sweet talk and bullying, pumped it back up and sent it out to grapple with its future. Texas secretary of state, mayor, senatorial candidate—he’s made himself into Dallas’ favorite Democrat, attracting Republican money and carrying Republican precincts.

Caroline Rose Hunt
The grand dame of elegance is much more than a hotelier, though that’s how she helped put Dallas on the international map. In 1979, she formed Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, a hotel management company that would bring new meaning to the phrase "luxury property." A year later, she opened the Mansion on Turtle Creek, Rosewood’s flagship property; in 1985, Hotel Crescent Court showed the world that the oil-rich heiress (daddy was H.L. Hunt) meant business. In addition to her business savvy, Hunt is the ultimate arbiter of fine taste. She brought tortilla soup and celebrity chef Dean Fearing to the Mansion (we can’t imagine a Mansion without them), and her passion for antiques and English heritage was the catalyst for opening Lady Primrose, the English countryside boutique in the Crescent that stocks Hunt’s Lady Primrose bath products. In essence, she is our ambassador of sophistication.

Stephan Pyles
Twenty years ago, a group of renegade chefs, affectionately known as the Gang of Five, introduced the world to Southwest Cuisine. Among the bunch was pint-size Stephan Pyles, who was wowing Dallas palates—and national food critics—by cooking haute cuisine with regional ingredients like chili peppers, tomatillos, and cilantro at his ambitious Routh Street Cafe. Pyles went on to open several more critically acclaimed restaurants—most notably Star Canyon, the pinnacle of cowboy cuisine—until 1998, when corporate America came calling. Carlson Restaurants bought his concepts; not long after, Pyles kept himself busy by writing cookbooks, hosting TV shows, traveling the world, and serving as consulting chef for such restaurants as Hotel ZaZa’s Dragonfly and the new Ama Lur in the Gaylord Texan. Though he may not have a kitchen to call his own, Pyles is still cooking. 

 << Ray Nasher
Ray Nasher believes in the power of beauty to transform people. It made sense, as he acquired large pieces of sculpture, that he should store them in NorthPark, his mall. It was convenient. But he also did it because he genuinely wants to improve people’s lives, open their eyes to possibility. The grandest expression of his desire now sits in the heart of downtown Dallas: the Nasher Sculpture Center, housing arguably the best collection of modern sculpture in the world. Go there some afternoon this fall. Sit in the garden. It made more sense for this wondrous place to be built in any number of other cities, but Nasher gave it to us.

Juanita Craft
The granddaughter of slaves, Juanita Craft became one of the country’s leading civil rights activists, providing counsel to both Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr. She cleaned rooms at the Adolphus Hotel for nearly a decade before joining the NAACP in 1935. Craft started nearly 200 branches in the state and fought to see that the first black students were enrolled at UT School of Law and North Texas State University (now UNT). When she went to the voting polls in 1944, she was the first black woman in Dallas County ever to do so. Her lifetime of protesting policy culminated with a twist in 1975, when her constituents elected the 73-year-old to become the city’s first black councilwoman.

 << Stanley Marcus
In his prime, Stanley Marcus could sell anything. The reason was simple. He taught himself everything there was to know about a fur, a way of sewing, a weave, a kind of leather, until he knew that what he bought—and therefore had to sell—was the best that could be made. What he knew he had to learn, but his audacity was innate. New York and Paris were the mavens of style until Life splashed Mr. Stanley’s Neiman Marcus across its cover. That and his mother’s fine gift of taste were the only lifts he needed to take his little store on the prairie to the top of the fashion world.

Dale Hansen
No anchor in Dallas has had a bigger impact on how we view sports than Dale Hansen. He anticipated the brand of coverage that ESPN would perfect on a national scale, mixing smart commentary, humor, and showmanship. He’s always at the center of a story—he broke a piece that would lead to the death penalty for SMU football—though he has a knack for being the story. Like the time he tussled on-air with then-Cowboys coach Barry Switzer in the mid-’90s. Or when Jerry Jones fired him as a broadcaster for Cowboys games not long after that. Still, the longtime sports anchor for ABC Channel 8 is still calling the plays, still offering his opinion, and still making sports fun to watch.

Louise Cowan
She has a scholar’s mind and a poet’s cadence. To listen to her teach a seminar on the Iliad or Orestes or, really, anything is to be transported into another dimension, where words are darts of meaning headed right at you. She and husband Donald (now deceased) were a team, first in building the University of Dallas, next in founding the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, but always in engaging others’ minds and in probing amid the disorder of modern life for the old virtues and the sure paths.

 << Paula Lambert
J.R. Ewing may have pushed Dallas’ image into the international spotlight, but Paula Lambert has refined it. The award-winning cheesemaker and founder of Deep Ellum’s Mozzarella Company has traveled the world spreading her talents and drawing attention to the Dallas culinary scene. Her success story has been featured in Gourmet, Food & Wine, and the New York Times, and she’s listed in the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s "Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America." Did someone say charity event? You’ll probably find Lambert behind a table, handing out samples of her handmade gourmet cheese from her ever-expanding list. As an active member of national and international foodie organizations—AIWF, Les Dames d’Escoffier, IACP—she’s Dallas’ unofficial ambassador of good taste and things that taste good.

Lee Trevino
As a kid on the hustle, Lee Trevino shagged balls and did odd jobs at a nine-hole course that’s now Old Town Shopping Center. A protégé of Hardy Greenwood, he also bet anyone and everyone that he could beat them, and one of his favorite tricks was trouncing duffers with nothing more than a Dr Pepper bottle. Completely self-taught, Trevino was the Tour’s Rookie of the Year in 1967, the leading money winner in ’70, and PGA Player of the Year in ’71. Fans can have their Tiger; Dallas will always have its Supermex.

 << Todd Oldham
Before there was Queer Eye, there was this guy. Todd Oldham’s designs make us smile; they make us happy; they make us excited about life. And best of all, we can afford them. There was a time when that wasn’t true, of course; before he turned his whimsical eye toward home design, he was dressing movie stars in $4,000 tops. But the soft-spoken Dallasite says he was sad each time he heard "I love what you do, but it’s not in my budget." Now, instead of creating couture for the rich and famous, he’s outfitting the living spaces of average Americans via housewares at Target and a hip collection for La-Z-Boy. As if his fantastic home fashions weren’t enough (oh, they are), the man owns the country’s best-decorated treehouse and he once created scratch-off swimwear for the cover of the now-defunct Nest magazine.

Trammell Crow
He built a fortune by making other people rich. He started with warehouses, moved on to buildings, created the suburban "office park" and the urban "market center," and by the time he was done, he was the largest owner of apartment buildings in the world. Buoyed by an irrepressible optimism and endowed with a boundless capacity for friendship, he made disciples into partners and sent them out to duplicate in other cities what he had done in Dallas, tripling, then quadrupling, then nearly losing count of the projects undertaken in his name. Almost single-handedly, Trammell Crow made Dallas the entrepreneurial capital of capitalism. 

 << Dixie Chicks
Sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison got their start belting out bluegrass tunes on the streets of Dallas before hooking up with the scrappy Natalie Maines. And these crossover queens have sparked progress and controversy in the country scene since the release of their Grammy-winning album Wide Open Spaces in 1998. Their 1999 follow-up album, Fly, earned them more accolades and raised eyebrows with the morbid girl-power anthem "Goodbye Earl." Raised eyebrows became jaw-dropping outrage in March 2003 when Maines disregarded country music’s politically conservative leanings and openly criticized President Bush. More than a year after the highly publicized incident (which caused radio stations across the country to boycott the band), the Dixie Chicks have bounced back from the controversy and become advocates of free speech.


Trammell Crow

He built a fortune by making other people rich. He started with warehouses, moved on to buildings, created the suburban “office park” and the urban “market center,” and by the time he was done, he was the largest owner of apartment buildings in the world. Buoyed by an irrepressible optimism and endowed with a boundless capacity for friendship, he made disciples into partners and sent them out to duplicate in other cities what he had done in Dallas, tripling, then quadrupling, then nearly losing count of the projects undertaken in his name. Almost single-handedly, Trammell Crow made Dallas the entrepreneurial capital of capitalism. 

Kim Dawson
She’s given us such international modeling stars as Bridget Hall, Erin Wasson, and Valery Prince, as well as actors Angie Harmon, George Eads, Peri Gilpin, and Janine Turner, all of whom had their careers kick-started by this sophisticated lady. More than a pretty face, Kim Dawson went to business school and began her professional career in Washington, D.C., working for Texas Senator Tom Connally in the early 1940s. It was during that time that she was discovered by a modeling agent and went to work in New York and Europe. When she moved back to Dallas in the late 1950s, modeling was a better option than her retail sales job at Neiman Marcus, but her own agency seemed better still, which is how she became the ship that launched 1,000 faces.

 << Mary Kay Ash

In many ways, she was the ultimate Dallas woman: perfectly coiffed hair, makeup applied just so, decked out in a mink stole and diamonds. But underneath the flawless façade was a single mom who was just trying to provide for her family. After a divorce that left her supporting three kids, the barely twentysomething Mary Kay went to work for Stanley Home Products, a Dallas-based direct-sales company. Ten years later, she was named national sales director for World Gifts, but she quit that job when a male assistant she had trained was promoted ahead of her at twice the salary. In 1963, at the age of 43, with $5,000, she started Mary Kay Cosmetics. Unabashedly geared toward women, with “Cinderella gifts” for incentives to sell (think diamond rings), the extremely charismatic Mary Kay announced to the women of Dallas—and later the world—that they could live the dream. Today, more than a million of them do, from Chicago to Changchun.

Gene Street
He started his career about the time the first issue of D rolled off the presses. Fresh out of the Air Force, he and partner Phil Cobb opened J.Alfred’s, a little joint on Oak Lawn where he loved to tend bar, grill burgers, and kick out all the longhairs. The dynamic duo soon lightened their redneck ways and branched out. They found a spot on Cedar Springs, hung a few plants, and served a mean chicken-fried steak at the Black-eyed Pea. The rest, as they say, is fast-food history. Now Street, who never lets the truth get in the way of a good story, does double duty. By day, he’s the chairman of Dallas-based Consolidated Restaurant Operations and vice chairman of Consolidated Restaurant Companies, corporations that control more than 200 restaurants. By night, he’s at the door of his high-end eatery III Forks, where he happily welcomes long-, short-, and big-haired customers.

Al Lipscomb
Okay, he might be a crook. But as the founding editor of D Magazine once wrote, “Lipscomb was a one-man civil rights movement in the city.” He spoke up—or, more accurately, shouted—for civil rights in Dallas and was a plaintiff in the 1971 federal lawsuit that would end at-large elections for the City Council. He joined the Council himself in 1985 but gave up his seat after he was convicted on 65 counts of bribery and conspiracy in January 2000. For all of his talents, though, survival may be his best-known. Despite health problems, bad press, and scandal, nothing has knocked him out. Even his conviction was overturned on a technicality. Today, Lipscomb sits on the once-docile Dallas Citizens Police Review Board, which provides another opportunity for him to voice his opinion on just about everything.

Bernie Kraft
There wouldn’t have been a second anniversary of D Magazine, much less a 30th, without Bernie Kraft. A transplant from Cleveland, Kraft was an unemployed advertising executive when he stumbled upon his life’s calling—romancing Dallas businesses out of their money and into our pages. He also mastered the art of managing a sometimes-tempestuous publisher while cultivating one of the finest—and most beautiful—sales teams ever to hit the streets of an American city. The result was a magazine so fat with ads that postal workers regularly complained. Later he became publisher himself, then president, while also undertaking countless civic ventures. When Dallas’ economy hit the shoals, he was forced to maneuver through the wreckage, not a joyful task for a temperament suited to sunny skies and clear sailing. He resumed his place, under happier conditions, at D Magazine in 2001 and passed away in 2003.

Jessica Simpson
Onstage, she’s our pop star who can sing her lungs out and dance and remind us that just because pop stars are popular doesn’t mean they aren’t talented. On magazine covers, she’s our blonde bombshell, whose image is sometimes sexy and sometimes sweet but always hot. On MTV, she’s our newlywed: caring, confused, and inadvertently comic. In our hearts, she’s still a little gospel-singing girl from Richardson growing up in the limelight, unafraid to be herself.

Photos: Strimple: Courtesy of Jan Strimple; Jakes: Tadd Myers; Cuban: Corbis; Landry: David Woo/Dallas Morning News; Crazy Ray: Natalie Caudil/Dallas Morning News; Hunt:Courtesy of Rosewood; Pyles: Stephen Karlisch; Nasher: Tadd Myers; Marcus: Courtesy of Neiman Marcus; Lambert: Natalie Caudill/Dallas Morning News; Oldham: Nancy Kaszerman; Chicks:  Rick Madonik; Mary Kay: Ed Lallo.