Crockett was born in a cabin in what is now Tennessee. He moved to Virginia when growing up, but returned home around age 19, and married Mary (Polly) Finley soon after. After a stint in the military, in which he fought in the Creek War, Crockett served in the Tennessee State Legislature for a couple of terms beginning in 1821, and later in the United States Congress. Originally a pro-Andrew Jackson Democrat, in March 1829 Crockett switched to the anti-Jackson Whig Party.
After being defeated for re-election to Congress, Crockett went to Texas, where he was killed attempting to defend the Alamo. Before leaving, Crockett is reputed to have said, "You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas."
Crockett was a vigorous self-promoter and nominal author of a number of books (probably ghostwritten) that helped to make him a legend in his own time.
In 1954, the Crockett legend, which had largely faded outside of Texas, was revived by Walt Disney. The Disneyland television series presented the first of an unassuming, low-budget adventure series: "Davy Crockett: Indian Fighter." "Davy Crockett Goes to Congress" and "Davy Crockett at the Alamo" followed. Davy Crockett was played by an actor named Fess Parker, little-known then, and, for the most part—apart from the Crockett series—since. To everyone's surprise, including Disney's, the show was a monumental hit. The bland-but-catchy theme song became a hit in its own right. Raccoon caps, popular with grade-school boys as "Daniel Boone caps," experienced a resurgence in popularity and became known then (and to this day) as "Davy Crockett caps."
- While in Congress: "We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money."