Loretta Lynn Got Married At 13 To A Man She Barely Knew: "When You’re In Love, It Makes No Difference"

December 20, 2019

Country music legend Loretta Lynn was married to Oliver Lynn (better known as “Doolittle” or simply “Doo”) for nearly 50 years.

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The couple tied the knot in 1948 and, although their marriage was rocky at times, stayed together until Doolittle’s passing in 1996.

Getting married at 13

Loretta and Doolittle were very young when they wed. In her best-selling autobiography, Coal Miner’s Daughter, the singer stated she was only thirteen when she and Doolittle met and married, and she didn't even know him well.

Doolittle himself was 21, and to him, the future country star looked quite mature. The book quotes him as saying:

I was attracted to Loretta at first by her looks. She was real mature with a full woman’s figure. I didn’t know she was only thirteen until I was at her house a few times. But it didn’t change my mind. When you’re in love, it makes no difference.

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The couple had their first child the same year they married, and Lynn was a mother of three by the time she turned 20. She and Doolittle had six children in total (unlike her friend and colleague, Dolly Parton).

The age controversy

A reporter working for the Associated Press came across some documents that show something doesn’t add up in the story Lynn told in Coal Miner’s Daughter.

According to the AP, Lynn was actually 15, not 13, when she got married, based on her birth certificate and marriage license found online. (By the way, a similar mix-up happened with Doris Day, but it wasn’t intentional.)

The singer herself, her representative, and living family members all stonewalled the AP’s requests for comment about her real age.

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Even though some experts claim the star provided not correct information in her best-selling autobiography, it is still obvious that she got married at a very young age, and preserved her love for so many years. Lynn has a fascinating story to tell about her life!