Television personality, custom-made motorcycle creator and restaurateur Jesse James was born on April 19, 1969 in Lynwood, California. Claiming to be related to the notorious outlaw of the same name, he spent his childhood in numerous areas across the state, partly because of the early divorce of his parents. He first worked as a bodyguard for metal band Danzig, as well as for bands such as Slayer and Soundgarden, before opening West Coast Choppers, a company that produces custom-made motorcycles, in his mother’s garage in 1992. His venture soon became a huge success; he currently employs 50 people in an 18,000-square-foot facility, creating custom bikes for an elite customer base.
His life and work became a subject of Motorcycle Mania, a documentary aired on the Discovery Channel. The success of the show led the cable network to offer him a new show; this evolved to Monster Garage, a show which challenges James and his team to modify vehicles within a certain time period. The show’s success led him to establish Payupsucker Productions, which was later responsible for other Discovery shows such as History of the Chopper, Iraq Confidential and Green Scream. In 2006, he also set up Cisco Burger, a restaurant named after his deceased pet pit bull, selling premium burgers and other organic-sourced foods. He has also ventured into clothing and magazine publishing. He returned to television in 2009, through a stint in The Celebrity Apprentice.
James went through two marriages, bearing a total of three children, before marrying actress Sandra Bullock. The two met on the set of Monster Garage, when she arranged for her 10-year-old godson to visit.
- His first wife is Karla James. They divorced in 2002, so he married Janine Lindemulder. In 2005, he married Sandra Bullock and they were divorced in 2010. The next year, he became engaged to Kat Von D.
- He is an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church.
- He claims that he is related to "the outlaw Jesse James" from his great grandfather's cousin.