Jesse Gregory James (born April 19, 1969) is an American television personality and CEO of West Coast Choppers, a manufacturer of custom-made motorcycles. James is the host of Motorcycle Mania and the former series Monster Garage on the Discovery Channel.
Jesse Gregory James was born in Lynwood, California
to Larry and Carol James, the younger of two children. Jesse James claims to be related to "the outlaw Jesse James" from his great grandfather's cousin. James states he grew up in Long Beach, California
, but that he did not spend his entire childhood there. James' parents divorced while he was still in grade school in South Gate, California
and he and sister Julie moved to Riverside
with their father, Larry James and attended La Sierra High School
In 1998 Jesse opened West Coast Choppers in his mother's garage. The company grew quickly and soon moved to a larger facility. In 2000 the Discovery Channel
made the documentary "Motorcycle Mania" which chronicled Jesse's everyday life and was to became one of the highest rated shows in the history of the network. Following the success of the documentary, the Discovery Channel approached Jesse with an offer to host a new show called "Monster Garage
" where James and a crew of mechanics modified vechicles under a short deadline. Jesse later established "Payupsucker Productions" under which he produced shows like "History of the Chopper", "Iraq Confidential with Jesse James" and "Green Scream" in which Jesse plans to break the land speed record with an eco-friendly hydrogen car.
West Coast Choppers employs 50 workers in an 18,000-square foot facility and produces 12 to 14 custom bikes each year for select customers and companies. About 200 bikes have been built at West Coast Choppers. The company has started modifying cars as well, with about 15 cars constantly being in their shop at different stages of modification.
One of James' latest ventures is the Cisco Burger restaurant, which opened on April 28, 2006, just down the street from West Coast Choppers. The 1950s style hamburger stand - named after his beloved pit bull - features Kobe beef
burgers, low-fat burritos
, organic vegetables, and biodegradable wrappings. Other branches of the "West Coast Family" include the Chopperdogs fan club and Jesse's Girl clothing line. Since 2006 James has published Garage
magazine. James has also built and is racing an off-road Trophy Truck
and a Figure-8 race car. West Coast Choppers is also sponsoring race teams in Top Fuel
Drags and Super Late Model NASCAR
. James recently bought Austin Speed Shop, which builds custom cars including a Mercury
for Jesse himself. Through James' show "History Of The Chopper" there are also glimpses of his involvement with the Hells Angels
and other 1% outlaw motorcycle clubs
James has two children - a daughter, Chandler, and a son, Jesse James, Jr. - by his first wife, Karla. He also has a daughter, Sunny, by his second wife, Janine Lindemulder
, an adult film star/producer, and a former Penthouse
model,; however, he had no participation in her life until early 2007. Sunny was born January 2004.
On July 16, 2005 James married actress Sandra Bullock; they met when Bullock arranged for her eight-year-old godson, who was a fan, to tour the set of Monster Garage.