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Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Jan Gentry attended several colleges (including Texas Tech University and the University of Texas) before receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Lamar University. She then attended Texas Wesleyan College, where she received an additional teaching certificate for the mentally handicapped. She currently works as a first grade teacher in Lutz, Florida. Previously, she was employed as tennis legend Martina Navratilova's secretary. She also owned her own business hand-painting custom baskets and worked at a clothing store in Orlando, Florida.

Jan describes herself as a charismatic people-person who is also a logical thinker with good problem-solving abilities. She enjoys running in triathlons, tennis, golf and fishing. On her perfect day, she would work out, then fish on her boat while drinking a beer and listening to Willie Nelson. She would cap off the day by grilling the day's catch while enjoying a few more beers and a good cigar.

Jan currently resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband, Bill. She considers her five children, Jef (26), Molly (24), Lisa (20), William (18), and Keller (18) to be her greatest accomplishments. Her pets include a fish named Jake, a guinea pig named Beethoven and a cockatiel named Fred. Her birth date is October 31, 1948.