James Robert "Jim Bob" Duggar (born July 18, 1965), is the patriarch of the Duggar family. He is the husband of Michelle Duggar with whom he has 19 biological children, one adopted child, and 21 grandchildren.
He is a real estate agent and owns several commercial properties in his local area.
Jim Bob and his family are conservative Christians.
James Robert Duggar was born on July 18, 1965, in Springdale, Arkansas, to Jimmy Lee "JL" Duggar and Mary Duggar. He was the couple's second and final child. The Duggars did not have a lot of money, and in one of the books Jim Bob wrote as an adult, he mentioned a time where his mother had to cook decorative rice because it was the only food in the house. Jim Bob often blames this on his father being unable to handle money. In the book Growing Up Duggar, which Jim Bob's daughters wrote, they mention that Jimmy was not a good "spiritual leader of the home", a statement they don't expand on. Not much else is known about Jim Bob's childhood.
When Jim Bob was about seventeen years old, he was going door to door visiting families who had visited their church when a friend, Fred Pearrow, suggested that they visit a cheerleader friend of his who had recently been saved. The friend was named Michelle Ruark. The boys invited her to Sunday school and talked to her about recent conversion. When Jim Bob left her house, he prayed at the doorway "Lord, I would love to be her spiritual leader. Can she be mine?".
A year later, when Jim Bob was a senior in high school, Michelle applied to work at a yogurt shop where Jim Bob's mother was a manager. He told his mother to hire her. He came in to fix the cash register one day and invited Michelle to the junior/senior banquet at his high school, and she agreed. After the banquet, Jim Bob and Michelle went back to Michelle's house and discussed the Bible for four hours and began dating.
Jim Bob graduated from Shiloh Christian High school in May of 1983.
Jim Bob Duggar married Michelle Annette Ruark at Cross Church in Rogers, Arkansas, on July 21, 1984. Since the church was under construction, the couple was married in a hallway leading to a gymnasium. Michelle wore the wedding dress that was originally worn by Jim Bob's mother, Mary. There were about two hundred guests at the wedding. The wedding colors were pastel shades of yellow, pink, green, and blue. The wedding only had fake flowers, which the couple then used to decorate their home. There is no video recording of the wedding, but there is an audio recording on a cassette tape. "Everything we did for our wedding was so inexpensive, but perfect for us," Michelle said in an interview in 2014. "We wanted to spend our money on our honeymoon, which was our first time to be alone together.".
The couple went to a cabin in Mount Nebo and Lake Fort Smith, Arkansas, for their honeymoon. They were unhappy with the cabin, however, and cut their trip short so they could begin working on fixing up their new home.
In their early years of marriage, both Jim Bob and Michelle worked in real estate, which they were reported to be successful at. They also invested in a number of commercial properties.
On March 3, 1988, Jim Bob and Michelle welcomed their first child, Joshua James, to the world. After giving birth to Josh, Michelle went back on birth control. When Michelle suffered a miscarriage, the couple consulted with a Christian doctor who told them that the pill can cause miscarriages. The couple was heartbroken, and decided to no longer use birth control. They named the miscarried child Caleb Ryan.
On January 12, 1990, Michelle gave birth to a set of twins, Jana Marie and John-David. Feeling God was blessing them for making the right decision, the couple determined to leave the number of children they had up to God.
Jim Bob and Michelle went on to have sixteen more children: Jill Michelle was born on May 17, 1991, Jessa Lauren was born on November 4, 1992, Jinger Nicole was born on December 21, 1993, Joseph Garrett was born on January 20, 1995, Josiah Matthew was born on August 28, 1996, Joy-Anna was born on October 28, 1997, twins Jedidiah Robert and Jeremiah Robert were born on December 30, 1998, Jason Michael was born on April 21, 2000, James Andrew was born on July 7, 2001, Justin Samuel was born on November 15, 2002, Jackson Levi was born on May 23, 2004, Johannah Faith was born on October 11, 2005, Jennifer Danielle was born on August 2, 2007, Jordyn-Grace Makiya was born on December 18, 2008, and Josie Brooklyn was born 3 months prematurely on December 10, 2009.
On November 8, 2011, Jim Bob and Michelle announced that they were expecting their twentieth child. The couple said they had expected Josie to be their last, but were excited for another child. "Michelle and I both feel like some of the most blessed parents in the world. Our children are so sweet. We are so grateful to God," Jim Bob said of the pregnancy.
On December 8, 2011, the couple announced that they had miscarried their child. After a routine check-up, the doctor was unable to find a heartbeat, which meant they suffered a miscarriage. The family was heartbroken, and said they would give the infant a name and a funeral once knowing the gender.
On December 11, 2011, Michelle naturally delivered the stillborn child, a girl, after the miscarriage. She weighed 4 ounces and was 2.4 inches long. On December 12, 2011, the couple set a date for the funeral and announced that they had decided on the name Jubilee Shalom.
On December 14, 2011, the Duggar family held a funeral for Jubilee, which was held in Springdale, Arkansas, and was attended by hundreds of people. "I really believe that God sees the bigger picture. I hope that her short life can encourage other people who have gone through things like this. It was very healing, and we have precious memories," Jim Bob said about the event. The funeral, which aired on the family's television show, was the subject of some controversy after it was discovered the Duggars displayed photos of the miscarried stillborn child at the event.
On September 26, 2008, his oldest son, Joshua, married Anna Keller in Hilliard, Florida. The couple has six children, Mackynzie Renée, who was born on October 8, 2009, Michael James, who was born on June 15, 2011, Marcus Anthony, who was born on June 2, 2013, Meredith Grace, who was born on July 16, 2015, Mason Garrett, who was born on September 12, 2017, and Maryella Hope, who was born on November 27, 2019. They are currently expecting their seventh child, a daughter, due in Fall 2021. The couple suffered a miscarriage in 2010. Notably, Jim Bob and Michelle's oldest grandchild, Mackynzie, is two months older than their youngest child, Josie.
On June 21, 2014, his daughter Jill married Derick Dillard in Rogers, Arkansas. The couple has two children, Israel David, who was born on April 6, 2015 and Samuel Scott, who was born on July 8, 2017.
On November 1, 2014, his daughter Jessa married Ben Seewald in Bentonville, Arkansas. The couple has four children, Spurgeon Elliot, who was born on November 5, 2015, Henry Wilberforce, who was born on February 6, 2017, Ivy Jane, who was born on May 26, 2019, and Fern Elliana, who was born on July 18, 2021. The couple suffered a miscarriage in 2020.
On November 5, 2016, his daughter Jinger married Jeremy Vuolo in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. The couple has two children, Felicity Nicole, who was born on July 19, 2018 and Evangeline Jo, who was born on November 22, 2020. The couple miscarried a child, Halleli Grace, in November 2019.
On September 8, 2017, his son Joseph married Kendra Caldwell in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. The couple has three children, Garrett David, who was born on June 8, 2018, Addison Renee, who was born on November 2, 2019, and Brooklyn Praise, who was born on February 19, 2021.
On June 30, 2018, his son Josiah married Lauren Swanson in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. They have one child, Bella Milagro, who was born on November 8, 2019. The couple miscarried a child, Asa, in October 2018.
On May 26, 2017, his daughter Joy-Anna married Austin Forsyth in Rogers, Arkansas. The couple has two children, Gideon Martyn, who was born on February 23, 2018 and Evelyn Mae, who was born on August 21, 2020. The couple miscarried a daughter, Annabell Elise, in June 2019.
In 1995, the "quiverfull" movement formed. It was a conservative Protestant group that is notably against birth control, looking to produce as many children as possible for God. The group's name comes from Psalm 127:
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them."
Although it is unknown exactly when the family joined this movement, when they created their first family website in 2005, a link to quiverfull.com was included under the heading "links to articles about the family. The link was to an article posted in 2001, which discussed the family's involvement in the movement.