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Biography: Kelly Clinton
 

Kelly ClintonKelly Margaret Clinton was born April 3, 1965 in Columbus, Mississippi. She is the only child of Perry and Mattie Clinton of Columbus. Her father is an orthopedic surgeon and her mother works at the Columbus Public Library.

Clinton attended Columbus High School, where she played basketball for three years and was vice-president of her senior class, and graduated in 1984. She entered the University of Mississippi in Oxford that fall, pursuing a degree in general business with the goal of working for a public relations firm.

Shortly after moving to Oxford, she met Trudi Dyer when they both pledged Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. They became roommates, living in the sorority house throughout college. On a spring break trip to Florida during their junior year, the two hit upon the idea that Oxford could use a professionally run, cutting-edge dating service, after seeing three such establishments within a close radius to each other in Tallahassee.

On their return, they went to work on their idea, developing the business plan as part of a class project during their senior year at Ole Miss. After graduation in 1989, Clinton and Dyer approached Bruce Rushing, a local Oxford attorney, to help them incorporate their company. Cupid's Couples was incorporated on June 13, 1989, with Clinton and Dyer as the sole co-owners and equal partners.

Initially, the business faltered during the slow summer months. To coincide with students' return for the fall term, Dyer and Clinton launched an aggressive and expensive advertising campaign, paid for out of their own pockets and targeted primarily at university students. The risk worked and, through the advertising and word-of-mouth, the company was quickly off the ground.

Although Dyer and Clinton at first operated Cupid's Couples out of Dyer's home on N. 14th Street in Oxford, in 1990 they moved into a three-room complex in the Ford office building on S. Lamar in Oxford. This move prompted them to hire a full-time secretary, Natasha Van Moore, who worked at the dating service for nearly four years before leaving to start her own business in Oxford. Cupid's Couples also used a steady stream of part-time interns gleaned from the university business school, including Corinna Morgan. When Van Moore left in 1994, Morgan was hired full-time and stayed with Cupid's Couples until she was terminated in February 2000. Another part-time employee, Dana Pomeroy, was promoted to full-time to replace Morgan. Cupid's Couples has operated in the black since 1991, and in 1995 profits passed the quarter-million mark.

In her spare time, Clinton enjoys reading, shopping, and traveling, and she donates heavily to charitable causes in Oxford. Her estimated net worth is close to one million dollars, based on her share in Cupid's Couples and her stock in BJT&K, Inc. BJT&K is a partnership of Clinton, Trudi Dyer Rose and Bobby Joe Rose, which owns several rental properties and a partial interest in Rewind Videos, a video rental store.

Unlike her partner Trudi Dyer Rose, Clinton has always remained single, although she did have a high-profile romance with and brief engagement to Oxford gynecologist Dr. Gary Patterson.

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