Anna Nicole Smith Anna Nicole Smith was born in Houston, Texas. When she was very young, her family moved to Mexia, Texas, a small town 127 km (79 mi) south of Dallas. Her father left the family when Anna was still a child and she was raised by her mother and her aunt. As she was growing up, she has said she wanted to be the next Marilyn Monroe. Smith worked at a fried chicken restaurant in her late teens, where she is rumored to have married an unidentified cook. In 1985, she married Billy Smith at the age of 17. That same year, she gave birth to her first child, Daniel Smith. In 1987, she divorced Billy and became a single mother.
In her early 20s, before becoming an exotic dancer, Smith worked at a variety of low-paying jobs while supporting her son Daniel. While working as an exotic dancer at a nightclub in Houston under various names including Nikki, Robin and Anna Nicole, she met oil billionaire J. Howard Marshall, a frequent customer of the strip club. With Marshall's money, Smith had cosmetic surgery to increase her breast size.