The Untold Truth of Frank Fritz from ‘American Pickers’

History Channel has a penchant for turning hobbies and businesses into lucrative ventures led by stars. This is no different when it comes to their show, “American Pickers”, and the man at the helm – Frank Fritz. This charismatic character has made his fortune working in the antique collection and dealership. His travel habits and ability to monetize almost anything he sets his mind to make him a person who gets fascination and support from a wide range of viewers. Fritz’s story appeals to all kinds of people; his fight against illness and his perseverance created a sympathetic character.

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Early life and family


Frank Fritz was born on October 11, 1965, in Iowa USA, to Bill and Susan Fritz. Unfortunately, his father didn’t stay around for long and he ran off with another woman. Despite the trauma this brought to Susan, not to mention Frank, Susan was able to move on and married Richard Zirbes in 1974. Richard worked as a tire salesman and Susan also contributed to home finances by working for a construction company.

The childhood of Frank Fritz

The roots of his future profession were laid early on in his childhood, as Frank had a passion for collecting an assortment of items from beer cans to stamps – Frank was determined and with an entrepreneurial spirit.

When Fritz’s passion for motorcycles reached his peak, he took jobs at Quad City Automatic Sprinkler and Coast to Coast Hardware, to earn enough to buy his own bike. He achieved his dream when he was a teenager and bought his own brand new Harley Davidson for the hefty $4,100 – a price his parents dreaded.


Frank attended Sudlow Intermediate High School, then moved to Bettendorf High School, graduating in 1982. He decided to forego a college degree and instead went straight to work.


fire inspector

A fire inspector has the imperative task of assessing fire risks, fire prevention and extinguishing agents.

Frank Fritz

Fire inspectors ensure that public places and private businesses meet standards and that they provide adequate safety for the general population. Frank started working as a fire inspector in 1987 and stayed in this job for 25 years before moving on. But even at that time, his collecting habit was unstoppable. Fritz collected an impressive collection of fire stations and tidbits he found on the job. When he sold one item from his collection for $475, he realized that his collecting habits could be the hub of a new and lucrative career.

Ancient Archeology

Realizing his passion, Frank enlisted the help of his close school friend, Mike Wolfe, and together they opened the antiques dealer, Antique Archeology.

The store also established an online presence that allowed the couple to reach greater reach when selling their stock. Following clues throughout North America, the pair head to auctions, garage sales, and homes to locate these valuables.

“American Pickers”

The history of Chanel show premiered on January 18, 2010 and set new records in viewership. The show’s first episode was watched by more than 3.1 million views – more than the debut of any other show on the channel. The show follows the events that take place in Antique Archeology, starring Frank Fritz, his friend Mike Wolfe and roller derby star turned picker Danielle Colby. The team works together to find leads and promising locations, with Mike and Frank hitting the road to bring back a bounty.

They don’t always stick to the plan and will veer off course to explore barns, homes, outbuildings, and other locations in hopes of finding the perfect piece. Fritz also appeared in several spin-offs of the show, including “American Restoration” in 2011. His fame also gave him the chance to voice his own character in “American Dad” in the 2017 episode “Family Plan”.

Private life


Frank has managed to keep any whispers about his relationships out of the media. There was speculation for a time that he was dating his business partner Mike, but this has since been debunked – Fritz insists he’s not gay.

In recent years, however, he has become less secretive and now shares photos and updates about a female named Diane, with whom he is in a relationship.

Legal problems

On July 30, 2017, Fritz was detained by police when he was caught driving in the wrong direction on Interstate 80. Upon investigation, it was discovered that he was under the influence of a combination of Xanax and alcohol and was arrested. After undergoing a trial, Fritz was ordered to pay a $625 fine, probation for one year and forced to comply with drug-related interventions.

fashion show! Displaying one of my newest picks!

Posted by Frank Fritz from American Pickers On Monday 3 July 2017

Health issues

Frank Fritz raised a lot of eyebrows when he underwent a dramatic weight loss. While most assumed this was a diet and lifestyle choice, Frank revealed that it wasn’t the case at all, but because of his long battle with Crohn’s disease. The disease targets the intestinal tract and causes many painful symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain and weight loss. Many people live with the disease for their entire lives, while Fritz himself has suffered from it for more than 30 years. Fritz is managing his health as best he can, which includes an extremely regulated eating schedule.


Frank Fritz has extremely friendly qualities. He has dark brown hair and wears a handlebar mustache and beard. Due to his battle with Crohn’s disease, Fritz’s weight can fluctuate, but he weighs about 71 kg and is 1.65 m tall.

Wealth and salary

Like many of the stars on the History Channel, Frank gets about $10,000 per episode he appears in. This, along with the success of Antique Archeology, has given him a net worth of over $4 million by mid-2020.