Ziglar was born on November 6, 1926 in Coffee County, Alabama. He was raised in Dallas, Texas, in Plano, Texas, and in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Ziglar studied to part of the United States Navy at the V-12 Navy College Training Program. He studied to write at University of South Carolina.
Ziglar was married to Jean Ziglar from 1946 until his death in 2012. They had four children, one of them died in 1995. He had seven grandchildren. Ziglar died on November 28, 2012 in Plano, Texas from pneumonia, aged 86. He is buried in McKinley, Texas.
- "Red Phillips, "Zig Ziglar, R.I.P.", November 29, 2012". conservativetimes.org. Retrieved December 11, 2012.
- "Zig Ziglar dies at 86; motivational speaker inspired millions". LA Times. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
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- Booknotes interview with Ziglar on Zig: The Autobiography of Zig Ziglar, October 6, 2002.