The Early Years
Phil Robertson was born and raised in Vivian, Louisiana, a small town near Shreveport. With seven children in his family, money was scarce, and early on, hunting became an important part of his life.
As a high-school athlete, Robertson was All-State in football, baseball and track, which afforded him the opportunity to attend Louisiana Tech University on a football scholarship. There he played first string quarterback ahead of Terry Bradshaw. The Duck Commander says, "Terry went for the bucks, and I chased after the ducks."
After receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education and a Master's in Education, he spent several years teaching. His students claim he was an excellent teacher, but spending time in a classroom brought Robertson to the conclusion that his time and talents would be better spent in the woods. The founding of the Duck Commander Company gave him a chance to do just that.
Phil and his family, which by this time included wife Kay, and four boys, Alan, Jase, Willie and Jeptha, worked together to assemble, package and ship the calls from their home. A side business of commercial fishing kept food on the table while the Duck Commander Company was getting off the ground.
Duck Commander calls are still being built, packaged and shipped from the Robertsons' home on the Ouachita River, although now their home is surrounded by several offices and warehouses to help the company run smoothly. Since 1973, Duck Commander products, which now include much more than just duck calls, have been sold in all 50 states and several foreign countries. Not long after the success of the calls, Robertson began a series of videotapes that developed a worldwide fan-base of fellow duck hunters. The Duckmen videos, as they're known, revolutionized waterfowling with their pumped-up, rock-and-roll, "in yo' face" style.
Robertson lives by the motto inscribed on Duck Commander T-shirts: "Arise, Kill and Eat." Sporting a long beard and wearing head-to-toe Realtree camo, the rugged image this hard-core duck hunter portrays now is a far cry from the professional look required by his previous teaching career. Robertson's calls and techniques are helping others bring ducks right into their blinds, and the faithful swear by the deadly effects of the Duck Commander.