Jesse G. James

Mechanic / TV Personality

Born: 1969
Birthplace: Lynnwood, California
Best known as: The star of TV's Monster Garage and ex-husband of Sandra Bullock

As the muscular, tattooed chief gearhead of the reality TV show Monster Garage, Jesse James chopped and welded a Lincoln Town Car into a custom fire truck and turned a Ford Mustang into a high-speed lawnmower. Monster Garage ran on The Discovery Channel from 2002-06, and James won fans with his straight-talking, pit-bull-taming, motorcycle-outlaw charisma. Jesse James had been fascinated with motorcycles since childhood, and he opened his own shop, West Coast Choppers, in Long Beach, California in 1992. The company grew into a builder of super-custom bikes with price tags of $100,000 and more. His choppers attracted celebrity customers like Shaquille O'Neal and Kid Rock, which in turn caught the eye of The Discovery Channel, which put him on the air in the 2001 special Motorcycle Mania. When that show was a hit with viewers, the series Monster Garage was born. Jesse James married actress Sandra Bullock in 2005. In 2010, gossip sites suggested that James had had an affair with a tattoo model named Michelle "Bombshell" McGee, and possibly with other women as well. Jesse James did not address the charges in detail, but made a public apology for the "grief" he had caused Bullock. They were divorced later that year. In January of 2011, James announced that he was engaged to tattoo artist Kat Von D.

Extra credit:

According to the West Coast Chopper website, after a knee injury ended his college football career, “Jesse utilized his 6-foot-2 linebacking frame to work as a bodyguard for the likes of Danzig, Slayer, and SoundGarden.” James played for the University of California at Riverside… His marriage to Bullock was Jesse James’s third; his second wife was adult film star Janine Lindemulder… Jesse James was arrested for stealing cars as a teenager; according to Fortune magazine, he was “a regular visitor at the California Youth Authority, the state’s juvenile-detention agency”… James has claimed a family relationship to the 19th-century outlaw Jesse James; his Discovery Channel biography reported that “his great-great-grandfather was the famous outlaw’s cousin.”

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