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Richard S. Friedman
|Richard Friedman started in Malaysia 1967|
|Bob Feingold, Kinky Friedman|
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Richard S. "Kinky" Friedman (born October 31, 1944) 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. 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 five-party race.
Born in Chicago to Jewish parents, Dr. S. Thomas Friedman and Minnie Samet Friedman, Friedman moved with his family to a ranch in central Texas during his childhood. He had a keen interest in both music and chess at an early age. Friedman was chosen when he was 7 to be one of 50 local chess players to challenge U.S. grand master Samuel Reshevsky to simultaneous matches in Houston. While Reshevsky won all 50 matches, Friedman was by far the youngest competitor.
Friedman graduated from Austin High School in Austin, Texas in 1962 and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology while participating in the Plan II Honors program. He is also a member of the Tau Delta Phi fraternity. It was during his freshman year at the university that Chinga Chavin gave Friedman the nickname "Kinky," in reference to Friedman's curly hair.
Friedman then served two years with the Peace Corps on the island of Borneo in Malaysia with John Gross. He has been featured in the news including 60 Minutes on CBS and made an appearance as one of Jay Leno's guests. Friedman lives at Echo Hill Ranch, his family's summer camp near Kerrville, Texas. He also founded Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, the mission of which is to care for stray, abused and aging animals; more than 1,000 dogs have been saved from animal euthanasia.