October 11, 1965 |
Davenport, Iowa, United States
|Occupation||Antique shop owner
|Net worth||$3 million (2014)|
Frank Fritz (born October 11, 1965 in Davenport, Iowa) is an American antique shop owner, antique picker and TV personality best known as a co-star of the reality show American Pickers on History Channel.
Fritz grew up on Mound Street in Davenport, Iowa. Frank started picking early, collecting rocks and beer cans as a kid. He worked for many years as a fire and safety inspector but always had a passion for antiques and junk. Nowadays, he spends all his time on the road, digging for treasure in barns, garages and junkyards across The United States.
Fritz worked for 25 years as a fire inspector, covering an area from Des Moines to Cedar Falls, Iowa, and began picking up firefighter and firehouse-related trinkets. After he bought one item for $15 and sold it for $475, he thought he could make a living that way.
While at Sudlow Intermediate School, he met a young Mike Wolfe, whose tastes in collecting ran more toward old bicycles and discarded jack-o’-lanterns. Fritz recalls, the pumpkins began rotting and Wolfe realized why they were being thrown away. Both Fritz and Wolfe attended Bettendorf High School.
In 2002, he quit his job and established his own antique shop - Frank’s Finds - traveling the country to find objects he eventually could sell.(1)
Fritz frequently would overlap with fellow finder Mike Wolfe, and eventually Wolfe pitched Fritz on the idea of cameras following them at work for a TV show. Justin Anderson of Crazy Eyes Productions in Davenport helped produce a video they could pitch to networks. Despite having “two no-namers from Iowa riding around in a van", History eventually picked up American Pickers. in 2010, and has been airing ever since.(2)
Fritz's mother, Susan Zirbes, worked for a construction company and his stepfather, Dick Zirbes, was a tire salesman. They live in Bettendorf, Iowa. His father lives in Dallas, Texas and Fritz said the two are not close.