Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Kip Pardue grew up playing football and baseball and graduated from Dunwoody High School. The next year he was recruited to play football by Yale University, and graduated in 1998 with a degree in Economics. Before turning to acting, Kip made his living as a model for Abercrombie & Fitch and Polo after being discovered by Molly Ringwald's publicist. In 2001, he was named as one of the "Top 10 Upcoming Actors" by Armani Exchange. The name "Kip" comes from the initials of his full name.