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11 fun facts about 'Mattress Mack' on his 70th birthday

He's the fast-talking furniture salesman who everyone loves. And he's a Houston hero. Happy birthday, Mack!


  1. Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale was born in Mississippi but, as the saying goes, he got to Texas as fast as he could. He went to high school in Dallas.
  2.  Mack played football for the University of Texas and the University of North Texas between 1969 and 1973.
  3. Mack’s first job out of college was at a convenience store. He got fired, but that made him more determined than ever to be successful.
  4. He got a job at a furniture store across town and soaked up everything he could about the business. Editor's note: The video above originally aired in April 2020.
  5. In 1978, Mack boxed Muhammed Ali and won. Kind of. Read the story here.
  6. Mack proposed to his girlfriend Linda in 1981. They got hitched and moved to H-Town with $5,000 and big dreams. “Sometimes you’ve got to go for it,” Mack says. “I like to dive into it and figure it out," he later told KHOU 11. 
  7. Mack bought an abandoned model home park in a lot overgrown with weeds off I-45 and that was the beginning of Gallery Furniture.
  8. The store did well early on, thanks to all the people who moved here during the oil boom and needed furniture.
Credit: Family photo
Linda and Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale have been married since 1981.

RELATED: How Mattress Mack became an H-Town hero

WATCH: Mattress Mack stories through the years

9. When sales tanked during the oil bust, Mack made a spur-of-the-moment decision to do his own commercials and ad-libbed his now famous “save you money” slogan. A star was born and sales took off again. Watch funny outtakes.

Credit: Gallery Furniture
Jim McIngvale earned the nickname "Mattress Mack" because he wore a mattress and shouted "save you money" in his commercials.

10. He later donned a mattress in the commercials, leading to the nickname “Mattress Mack” and it stuck.

11. Mack is so much more than the guy in the wacky commericals. He's a Houston hero. From opening Gallery Furniture as a refuge to Hurricane Harvey victims to donating furniture to needy families to treating 100 veterans to a trip to the World Series and giving out thousands of free masks during the pandemic, Mack has a heart as big as Texas. Happy 70th birthday Mattress Mack and thank you for all you do!