Minnie Pearl, a member of the Grand Ole Opry cast from 1940 until her death in 1996

Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, known professionally as Minnie Pearl, was an American country comedian who appeared at the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years and on the television show Hee Haw from 1969 to 1991. Wikipedia

Minnie Pearl, a member of the Grand Ole Opry cast from 1940 until her death in 1996, was country music’s preeminent comedian and one of the most widely recognized comic performers American culture has ever produced.

Minnie Pearl was the undisputed queen of country comedy
Minnie Pearl was the undisputed queen of country comedy

Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon became a spokeswoman for the medical center in Nashville where she had been treated. She took on this role as herself, Sarah Ophelia Cannon, not Minnie Pearl, although a nonprofit group, the Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation, was founded in her memory to help fund cancer research. The center where she was treated was later named the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, and has been expanded to several other hospitals in Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky. Her name has also been lent to the affiliated Sarah Cannon Research Institute.

Receiving the American Cancer Society’s Courage Award, which was presented to her by President Ronald Reagan at the White House in 1987, also gave her much happiness. She did a lot of volunteer work for the society and for other charitable organizations because, she said, “I think every one of us has a social responsibility and a moral obligation to be as kind to people as we can.

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