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Character gudie to the tv series Dallas

"JR needs his secrets. That's his power. That's what he's all about. "-Pamela Barnes Ewing, 1978

As Roy Ralston of "Talktime" said, "Some call him saint, some call him sinner," but they call him. They call from Wall Street in New York, they call from the Petroleum Club in Houston, they call from Associated Press headquarters, and they call from frontline fighting in military coups in Asia. Everyone who's anyone in the oil business calls J. R. Ewing at least once in their life, for he is a man of ineffable power. To be with him is to be a winner, to be against him is exciting-to say the very least-but to be without him completely can mean certain kinds of financial death. He is the eldest Ewing son, and while most of Dallas is continually slack-jawed that he could be the offspring of Ellie and Jock, J.R. just bares his brilliant smile, tips his ten-gallon hat, and strides on toward more oil, more money and, of course, :more power.

Early Life

J.R. was born in 1939 on Southfork Ranch. In the beginning, he was just like any other little baby boy, except that he needed more love and affection from his parents than he ever got. Miss Ellie remembers: "J.R. was so shy, when I took him shopping I never had to look to see where he was. He had hold of my skirt so tight. I think Jock scared him at first. But when Gary came along, Jock just took over raising him. `Make him a man's man,' Jock said. I guess then I fussed over Gary too much, because Jock had J.R. . . . and Bobby. We all spoiled him. Bobby was given everything J.R. had to fight for and Gary didn't bother with."

J. R.'s "man's man" training included, at the age of five, going to , daddy's office at Ewing Oil and learning the business. He liked that fine. he'd watch his daddy, hang on his every word and emulate his every move, he`d do everything he could in order to please him, for to him, Jock was a perfect great big god whose boots were firmly stained with oil. J.R. had no interest the ranch or the Southfork way of life. He thrived on the exchanges in the business, the deals, the way his father's eyes lit up in delight when he got his way,when he closed a deal, when the well came in, when the oil commanded best price of the day. And it wasn't just the figures, the finances, although J.R proved to be a wizard at them. There was also the thrill of pursuing the unspoken :if bigger was better than biggest was best.

Jock expected J.R to succeed and gave him little attention until he did. And if J.R made a mistake then god help him, Jock`d nail him.

From this relationship, J.R. learned the one word that would guide him for the rest of his life-win. To do this, J.R. took a shortcut in his early years. He relied on his lightning-fast reflexes, keen intellect, and beguiling charm to wheel and deal and bedazzle, and it worked. In later years, when he had gained all the practical knowledge concerning oil, he was, quite literally, unbeatable in most situations.

It was clear early on that J.R. also had a great flair for wheeling and dealing in another area-women. Since he was thirteen years old, J.R. had this almost spooky way with women of all ages. He charmed, flattered, and seduced women in no time, and if for some extraordinary reason he failed, then he just bought them in intricate ways that on the surface appeared to be something else. The ladies offered a great deal more attention than J.R. ever received at home.


As the eldest son, J.R. was expected to be a good big brother, but it wasn't easy. J.R. thought Gary was a wimp and bullied him in private every chance he got, not so much because he hated him, but because his mama gave Gary everything. She was always fussing over him, tending him, hugging him, taking him for rides and walks-none of which she did with J.R. And Gary did nothing to deserve it! When he wasn't having a tantrum, he was off moping somewhere. He was athletic but didn't like to play with anyone-he'd always quit and run to Mama. J.R. did take his role with little Bobby seriously, though, and honestly loved the kid. Everyone did. J.R.'s parents lavished attention on . Bobby, but J.R. didn't mind so much, he was so little-ten years younger-and he was cute. And cute was no threat to J.R., because he wasn't competing in that category. However, it didn't pass his notice that both parents acted differently with Bobby. They were freer with him; for one, they always touched him. No one ever touched J.R, except to spank him. How was it that no one wanted to hug and kiss him like they did Bobby, and his mama did Gary? Why? He excelled at everything his daddy and mama wanted him to, but how was it that they didn't seem to care half as much about his accomplishments as they did about some diddly-squat thing that Bobby did?

From the moment J.R. had brothers, he had a lifelong fight on his hands. Not for money, not for power, but for the love and affection and approval of his parents. It certainly wasn't too much to expect from one's parents, but it was the very thing J.R. couldn't bring himself to ask for outright. He thought his daddy would think him a sissy. And he thought he would probably be right.


In 1956, J.R. enrolled at the University of Texas and went off to Austin for four years. He was an excellent student, extremely popular fraternity brother, and a party goer and thrower extraordinaire. He had an enormous capacity for women, of course, and food and drink, Texas style. His drink of choice, bourbon and branch, became the illicit rage on campus.

After he graduated, Jock pushed him to do a stint in the Army of his "man's man" training-and was shipped off to South Vietnam in 1960.


Although he was a good soldier and won several medals in the field, he grew sick at heart at what he saw and was told to do, so he put his wheeling and dealing to use and got himself transferred to Japan, where he finished out the rest of his hitch.

J.R. returned home, and to Ewing Oil as a Vice President. Gary was gone-and would never ever have a head for business anyway-and Bobby, at that time, was more interested in chasing skirts and cattle than being bothered with Ewing Oil, so J.R. had the field all to himself. He plunged right in with his father's blessing. Business boomed, along with the family's personal fortune, because of his efforts.

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