Left a legacy matched by few athletes in any sport after a career as one of NASCAR's most polarizing figures from his 1975 debut until his 2001 death in a last-lap crash at the Daytona 500.
Drove to 76 Cup Series victories and a record-tying seven series championships (1980, '86, '87, '90, '91, '93, '94), becoming the first driver to capture the series title the year after winning NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors.
Won the 1998 Daytona 500 after famously coming up short in NASCAR's premier race for years due to racing mishaps and bad luck. Crew members for every team lined up to congratulate Earnhardt on pit road after his long-sought victory.
Honored by NASCAR with the removal of his No. 3, which only reappears under special circumstances. Among others paying tribute was baseball manager Ned Yost, a friend of Earnhardt's who wore No. 3 while managing in Milwaukee.
Inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame (2002), the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (2006) and the NASCAR Hall of Fame as a member of the inaugural 2010 class.
Remembered throughout North Carolina, but especially in his hometown of Kannapolis, home of Dale Earnhardt Boulevard as well as minor-league baseball's Intimidators (an Earnhardt nickname---team was formerly the Piedmont Boll Weevils). Earnhardt co-owned the team but was never able to see them play.
Ralph Earnhardt — Father
Martha Coleman — Mother
Kerry Earnhardt — Son
Brenda Gee — Ex-wife
Taylor Earnhardt Putnam — Daughter
Teresa Earnhardt — Wife
Latane Brown — Ex-wife
Kelley Earnhardt — Daughter
Dale Earnhardt Jr. — Son
Birth Name: Ralph Dale Earnhardt
Birth Place: Kannapolis, North Carolina, United States