Mike Rowe is an Emmy award-winning TV host, producer, narrator, podcaster, spokesman, bestselling author, recording artist, and America’s leading advocate for the skilled trades. As the CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, he’s awarded nearly seven million dollars in work-ethic scholarships and led a national effort to reintroduce shop class into high schools, which he’s delighted to report seems to be working.
Best known as the creator and host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, Mike has traveled to every state multiple times and worked alongside hundreds of Americans in more than 350 different vocations. Dirty Jobs has not only aired every week for the last 20 years, but it has served as an incubator for dozens of similar programs and launched a new genre of work-related television. Mike has also hosted and produced Somebody’s Gotta Do It for CNN, Six Degrees for Discovery, The Story Behind the Story for TBN, and Returning the Favor for Facebook. He’s narrated dozens of series and documentaries, including How the Universe Works, Bearing Sea Gold, Planet Earth, and Deadliest Catch. If you’ve ever seen a Wildebeest get eaten by a crocodile or hyaena on National Geographic, it was probably Mike who told you about it.
As a spokesman, Mike has represented Ford, Hewlett Packard, Caterpillar, Motorola, and lots of other Fortune 500 companies, including those most responsible for providing America with the energy we need. His podcast, The Way I Heard It, has been downloaded nearly 300 million times, and it features original short stories as well as extended interviews with dirty jobbers, mad scientists, serial entrepreneurs, bloody-do-gooders and other people that Mike believes you should know. Most recently, he’s introduced a line of Tennessee whiskey called Knobel, named after his grandfather, Carl Knobel, a skilled tradesman to whom Dirty Jobs was dedicated. Online proceeds benefit the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, and Mike sincerely hopes you’ll order a bottle immediately, since it is, in fact, delicious.
Against his better judgment, Mike still posts regularly on Facebook, where over 6 million people claim to be his friend. This year, he’s vowed to take YouTube more seriously and promised to do better on Instagram as well. He knows he should be on TikTok but remains hesitant, thanks to the clear and present nosiness of the Chinese government.
Prior to Dirty Jobs, Mike freelanced in the entertainment business for nearly 20 years. His career began when he crashed an audition for the Baltimore Opera Company, where he wound up singing for seven seasons and then, very nearly ended when he was fired from the QVC Cable Shopping Channel, for reasons he now admits were “entirely justifiable.”
He lives today in Northern California, which he hopes you won’t hold against him