Turtleman Ernie Brown Jr dead or alive? Wiki/bio, age, wife, kids, net worth.

The man of muddy waters Ernie Brown Jr is a legend as they come in Kentucky. Often characterized by his ability to catch monster snapping turtle and distinctive yell, Ernie Jr. is not just anyone, he is their own, born and bred of Kentucky. Over the years he landed skills to the people of his hometown and helped them eliminate critters problems. His tasks of catching and releasing nuisance animals are well documented in four seasons of Animal Planet show “Call of the Wildman. In this article, we will explore more on Ernie Brown’s biography details like his age, net worth, family, and facts.

Personal Life: Earnie Brown divorced from ex-wife

Ernie Brown Jr. was a married man. His ex-wife is Debbie Brown. For the time the two were married they had two daughters Courtney Brown and Megan Brown. It is not known how long the marriage lasted, but the reason why they separated is quite shocking. Earnie had lost many of his teeth in a series of the accident. Debbie divorced him saying she no longer wanted to married to a man with no teeth.  Also, the day his wife left, Brown Jr home got robbed of all his money and arrowhead collection.

Ernie Brown Jr The Turtleman and his ex wife Debbie
Ernie Brown Jr “The Turtleman” and his ex-wife Debbie

As the story goes, the devastation led Ernie to spent six months in the wild. Many assumed he died in pond catching a turtle, but he came more determined than ever to follow his dream. Around 2005, he began a fulltime job of catching the turtle.

Ernie Brown Jr. Children

Despite divorcing at not the best of circumstances, Ernie and Debbie have maintained a good relationship and together care for their children. Debbie has custody of both of their daughters.

Ernie Brown Jr daughters
Ernie Brown Jr daughters Courtney Brown (R) and Megan Brown(L)

Both of the daughters had it rough growing up because of the gruesome car accident. Courtney(eldest) and Megan were run over by a car. Courtney suffers from Juvenile (type 1) diabetes since she was six years of age. Megan has paralysis in her face and below neck due to which she can not smile. Ernie advocates on Juvenile Diabetes and he often participates in fundraising and awareness activities in support of other children facing a similar problem.

Who is Ernie Brown Jr.’s wife now?

Currently, we are not sure if Ernie Brown is married. However, when we go through his personal Facebook account his relationship status says married. Since he has not shared anything publicly it is hard to point out the lady in his life. For now, Ernie Jr is married to some unidentified woman.

Birthdate, Age, Ethnicity, Star sign

Ernie Lee Brown Jr was born on March 28, 1965, in Lebanon, Kentucky. Born to Ernie Lee Brown Sr. and Lola Brown, Ernie Jr. is 55 years old now. His star sign is Aries. He is American and belongs to caucasian ethnicity.

Early Life

Ernie Jr spent much of his childhood exploring the woods and learning the ways of animals around Kentucky. He was raised alongside his siblings Tim and Joe Brown. Learning the ropes from his father Ernie Sr. and uncle, Phillip, he started catching turtle at the age of 7. He took an hour to catch his first snapping turtle. Ernie was just a 12 years old when he caught a 50-pound turtle and offered it to the Louisville Zoo. And since it was too big to keep they refused, later he turned it loose on a green river. The biggest turtle he ever caught was at the age of 17 which weighed almost 125 pounds.

Ernie Brown Jr youngest daughter Meghan Brown and Mother Lola Bron
Ernie Brown Jr youngest daughter Megan and mother Lola Brown aka Turtle Mom

Career Progression

Over the years Ernie Bronw Jr. has done many odd jobs including in farm and factory. However, the one he is most passionate about is catching turtle. Indeed he is pretty good at it. He has been bitten by snapping turtle countless times but his passion for the job keeps him going. The technique he uses to catch an animal is just neat without causing harm to the animals. Other than catching monster turtles he worked to relocate nuisance animals disturbing farm and livestock around Kentucky. In the career that has spanned over 46 years, Ernie Jr has pulled over 12,000 turtles from muddy ponds.

TV career & recognition

He first gained attention through the Kentucky Afield series which showed him catching turtle barehanded. It rapidly went viral on Youtube. And after it came to the attention of Animal Planet producers he was given a 12 episode  TV show initially titled “Turtleman of Wild Kentucky”. The show’s name was later changed to “Call of the Wildman” which references Brown’s distinctive yell as he did every time after catching snapping turtle. Ernie Jr believes this action gives him the power to catch another one.

Call of the Wildman

Ernie Brown Jr gained popularity outside of Kentucky through animal Planet Tv series Call of Wildman. The first season premiere on Oct 30, 2011, and it was an instant hit gathering almost 780,000 viewers. It was the most popular show of the channel in the fourth quarter of 2011. The episode “Baby Mama Drama” holds a record for shows the highest audience of 1.6 million viewers which aired on July 8, 2012.

Ernie Brown Jr along with his late buddy Neal James Banjoman
Ernie Brown Jr along with his late buddy Neal James Banjoman

After four seasons Call of the Wildman ended in 2014. Ernie appeared through 72 episodes of the show. Besides turtle, Ernie caught all types of nuisance animals including raccoons, skunks, snakes, venomous spiders, and possums. For his services, he only asked an amount sufficient to cover the gasoline cost in return. His best buddy “Banjoman” Neal James also joined him in the show. Neal James passed away on Feb 1, 2019.

Metting CNN Anchor

The popularity of the Turtleman was beyond Ernie’s expectation. Once he expressed his desire to met CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper during an interview with hometown newspaper Lebanon Enterprise. He was later invited to a television program by Anderson Cooper. He also appeared on several television programs, including two visits to The Tonight Show.

Is Ernie Brown Jr dead or alive?

Ernie Brown Jr. the man we know as the Turtleman is alive and living his life somewhere in Lebanon, Kentucky. However, his parents are no longer in this world. His father Ernie Brown Sr. passed away at the age of 64 on March 4, 2010. Later his mother  Lola Fay Brown died on Dec 29, 2017, at the age of 50. Ernie Jr. has three half-siblings Logan, Jery, Gale from his mother’s second marriage.

Net Worth

Ernie Brown Jr has a net worth of $150 thousand. He describes himself as the poorest famous guy around. If there was a scale to compare his popularity and wealth then the claim might as well come true.

Accident and injury

Catching Turtle is a dangerous job even for the great Ernie Brown Jr. He has been receiving end of turtle bites. Among the most vicious, one of the snapping turtles bit him on the thumb resulting in seven stitches. Another time he was bitten on the pulse in the wrist which he had to get cauterized and kept him out of work for like seven months.

In addition to catching turtle, he worked various odd jobs including farm and factory work. He suffered injuries in three different circumstances two of them during work. While clearing the bush Ernie lost few teeth and needed 189 stitches after a guy swung a chainsaw around and hit me in the face. The second one occurred while driving a vehicle. The third one, he was working on the roof of a building in Ohio and something down below blew up and sent a piece of scrap metal flying that caught me in the jaw. That day he lost most of his teeth with only seven intact.

Ernie Brown Jr is an unfortunate guy when it comes to the accident and injury but he maintains what he can control to keep himself healthy. Brown Jr keeps himself away from drinking habits and neither do drugs.

Ernie Brown Jr Facts

NameErnie Lee Brown Jr
Date of BirthMarch 28, 1965
Birth PlaceLebanon, Kentucky, United States of America
ParentsErnie Lee Brown Sr. , Lola Brown
Nationality American
Ethnicity White
Spouse/PartnerDebbie (ex)
ChildrenCourtney Brown, Megan Brown
Net Worth$150,000
SiblingsTim Brown, Joe Brown
Social Media HandleFacebook


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