It is hard to tell whether or not an old item lying in the junkyard or somewhere in the storage room is an antique. If so, what it stands in the current market? Maybe, it is worth enough to change your fortune, or it is perhaps another junk. Meet reality TV show “American Pickers” host Frank Fritz who is an antique collector and restorer. He travels across the United States in the hunt for valuable items. With years of experience under the belt, Fritz buys antiques at a low price in a bid to sell it for higher margin.
In this article, we will bring everything about Frank Fritz including his married life, his ongoing battle over 30 years with an incurable disease. Also, you will be surprised to know Frank has some unwanted record with the law.
Frank Fritz Wiki/Bio, age
Fritz was born on October 11, 1963, in Davenport, Iowa, U.S. He is the only son of the pair, Bill Fritz and Susan Zirbes. He holds American citizenship and if ethnicity is concerned, this 59 years old TV star is Midwestern American.
Fritz took his first education steps in his hometown where he joined a local school. Those wondering where Fritz picked up his art of collecting antique, we can look back to his early days. Fritz was passionate about collecting items such as postage stamps, rocks, beer cans and little did he know, the passion someday would turn into a profession.
Like they say, “Life is a box of chocolate and you don’t know what you will get,” Fritz’s childhood took an unexpected turn. He was just a child, when his parents got divorced and eventually Fritz was left in care of his mother.
His father, Bill Fritz left to pursue another woman leaving him in care of Susan. At some point, Susan had to move on, and in doing so, she found solace in the arm of Richard “Dick” Zirbes. The pair got married in 1974.
Fritz grew up in a working-class family, Susan worked for a construction company, and Richard, his step-father was a Tires salesman. The marriage lasted lifelong for Mrs. Zirbes before she drew her last breath on December 17, 2013. She passed away at the age of 67.
Love for Bikes:
Speaking of Frank’s other interests, he loved motorcycles from an early age. Starting with mini bikes, he had a dirt bike and then street bikes. As a teenager, he took jobs at Quad-City Automatic Sprinkler and Coast to Coast Hardware so that he could buy a brand-new Harley-Davidson. When he finally achieved, Frank revealed his mother and father almost tripped seeing the cost of Harley Davidson, the Motorcycle he bought for $4,100.
As they say, like-minded people get along, Fritz and American Pickers co-star Mike Wolfe met back in high school. Both attended Sudlow Intermediate School and during the time they became close friends. Apart from a common school, the two shared common hobby of collecting items.
Frank later joined Bettendorf High School and graduated in 1982.
Frank Fritz career and profession
Despite the signs at a young age, Frank did not turn to Antique collection and restoration business for a long time. For 25 years, he worked as a fire inspector covering the area of Des Moines to Cedar Falls, Iowa. Nonetheless, he kept his hobby alive in the form of collecting firefighter and firehouse-related trinkets.
Like every good story has a trigger point, Fritz’s first trade was enough to change his perception towards antique collection and go professional. He bought an item for $15 dollars and made a huge profit of $460, after this he began to involve more in Antique business.
In 2002, he quit the job of fire inspector job and established “Frank’s Finds,” an antique collection shop in Savanna, Illinois.
As a collector, he travels across United States searching the treasures including old toys, signs and vintage motorcycles.
Frank Fritz and American Pickers:
Fritz joined as co-host of History channel reality Television series, American Pickers on January 18, 2010, in the inception of the show. The other host of the show is his childhood friend Mike Wolfe. The debut of the show recorded 3.7 million viewers.
Frank made 308 episode appearances from 2010-2021. After eleven years, Frank parted from the show in 2021. He last appeared in season 22 episode entitled “Smoking Hot Chevy.”
There are wild speculation regarding his departure from the show. Before parting ways, Frank and Wolfe had a reported feud. At the time, there were rumors that Fritz planned to start his own TV show but nothing has panned as of 2022. According to cinemablend, Frank step down from the show voluntarily in order to focus on his health.
One off writing venture:
The TV popularity has helped Fritz to explore on the writing side of things. On November 26, 2013, Frank published the book “How to Pick Vintage Motorcycles.” The books documents his journey from his first 1964 Harley Davidson to the different vintage motorcycle he collected along the way.
Frank Fritz Net Worth
Frank reportedly earned $500,000 salary a year from the American Pickers. He also made fortune from the sales of antiques. With a career that has spanned over decades, Fritz has accumulated a good fortune as a treasure hunter. As of 2022, Frank Fritz has a net worth of $6M.
Is Frank Fritz gay? Or married to a wife? Any Children?
Many celebrities likes to keep their personal life under the wraps, as a result inviting to wild sets of speculation and public opinions. There were gay rumors questioning Fritz’s sexuality, which came to traction due to his onscreen chemistry with co-host Mike Wolfe. Matter of fact, many don’t know the pair had been close friends since childhood, and the on-screen chemistry could be result of years of work together. Breaking down from other side, Mike Wolfe is a married man and has a daughter from longtime wife Jodi Faeth.
If we do the deduction, Frank was yet to marry or have children when he started antique shop in 2002. In an interview, this TV star shared that having freedom of family commitment, he was able to quit the job and start an antique shop. A few years earlier, we did pry into his Facebook account it said he was single. However, it doesn’t tell you the whole truth. The Facebook page was last updated in 2012, a long time ago, and since the page has been deleted, as of 2022.
After through research, we did come across his another Facebook account (also deleted as of 2022). He has shared about his relationship with a lady named Diann. Diann is basically an unknown figure to media houses, hence there are far and few information on her. In some of Frank’s Facebook post she did appear. Diann also provided helping hand in his Antique business known as “Frank’s Finds.” As for her past, Diann is divorced and had a daughter Paige from ex-husband.
Although Fritz called Diann his better half, as of late he has removed any traces on social media and has been reluctant to give out any information on his personal life. As of 2022, we can not tell for sure if or not Fritz married Diann.
Frank Fritz Incurable Illness:
For over 30 years, Fritz is suffering from Crohn’s disease. It is an incurable chronic disease of the intestinal tract symptoms including abdominal pain, weight loss, fever, rectal bleeding, skin and eye irritation, and diarrhea.
The reality television star has this difficult stomach situation causing him to use restroom frequently. In order to cope, he maintains an eating schedule. When on the road he eats very little during daytime and focuses consumption more at mealtime. In June of 2011, Fritz appeared on the magazine cover for Crohn’s patient as a supporting voice for other people suffering like him.
In addition to Crohn, more issues has been surfaced surrounding Fritz’s health. He had to join rehab to get out of alcohol addiction. He also suffered from back problems. In 2022, Mike Wolfe revealed Fritz had a heart stroke and was admitted to hospital. More details on his heart problems are yet to make it to public.
Frank Fritz brushing with the law:
On July 30, 2017, Frank Fritz was arrested for driving the wrong side under the influence of alcohol and Xanax. He was pleaded guilty of the first offense charge of OWI (operating while intoxicated). The plea deal entered in Iowa District Court in Davenport on March 1, 2018. According to the judgment, Fritz paid $625 fine and court costs. He was also put on unsupervised probation for one year and ordered to complete a substance evaluation program and accordingly follow treatment.
His other offense against law came forth when he breached a contract with a customer Jerry Bruce, a South Carolina resident who sought to buy a polarimeter (used to measure the sugar content in alcohol). Bruce had contacted Fritz after knowing he found an antique polarimeter through the episode of American Pickers aired in August of 2010. Fritz agreed to sell the antique for $300 plus shipping charge. However, neither he sent the product to Bruce nor withdrew the Cheque received from him.
Disappointed Bruce took the case to court and won $1,000 plus court costs $80 on default judgment as Fritz was not present for any hearing or replied to the plea deal.
October 11, 1963
United States of America
Bill Fritz, Susan Zirbes
Richard “Dick” Zirbes
Sudlow Intermediate School, Bettendorf High School
Fire Inspector, Antique Collector, Reality Television Personality