Carroll Hall Shelby (January 11, 1923 – May 10, 2012) was an American automotive designer, racing driver, and entrepreneur. He was best known for his involvement with the AC Cobra and later the Mustang-based performance cars for Ford Motor Company known as Shelby Mustangs, which he had modified during the late-1960 and early-2000. He established Shelby American Inc. in 1962 to manufacture and market performance vehicles and related products, as well as Carroll Shelby Licensing in 1988, that currently make up Carroll Shelby International.
Shelby was born on January 11, 1923, in Leesburg, Texas, to Warren Hall Shelby, a rural mail carrier, and his wife, Eloise (Lawrence) Shelby. Shelby suffered heart valve leakage problems by age 7 and spent most of his childhood in bed. By age 14, Shelby’s health improved and he was subsequently declared to have “outgrown” his health problems. Shelby’s first wife was Jeanne Fields; they married on December 18, 1943. Their daughter Sharon Anne Shelby was born a year later on September 27, 1944. Shelby and Fields had two more children — sons named Michael Hall (born November 2, 1946) and Patrick Bert (born October 23, 1947). They later separated and divorced in February 1960. In 1962, Shelby married actress Jan Harrison but the marriage was annulled the same year.
Shelby dealt with health issues throughout his life. He took nitroglycerine pills when he was racing because of his heart.He had a heart transplant in 1990 and a kidney transplant in 1996.