Nathan Jay “Nate” Berkus was born September 17, 1971 in Orange County, California and grew up in Minneapolis. After graduating from high school, he interned as an interior designer at Dominique Aurientis in Paris and at Sotheby's in Chicago. He then took up French and Sociology at Lake Forest College. He worked at Leslie Hinman's auction house before founding his own interior design company, Nate Berkus
Associates, in 1995. Among the awards and recognitions he received were the 2000 Chicago Social Magazine Design Director, 2003 House Beautiful's Next Wave Design Talent, and the 2003 Craine Business Magazine's 40 Under 40 To Watch.
Nate Berkus is a regular guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show
, where he offers design advices to viewers and helps guests in redecorating their homes. The show also featured his experience during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. He and partner Fernando Bengoechea were on vacation in Sri Lanka when the tsunami hit. He survived but his partner remains missing up to this day and is now presumed dead. Stuck in a foreign place, Nate was humbled by the kindness shown to him by strangers during the ordeal. He eventually worked with Angel Network and assisted in rebuilding the area. Nate is also a regular contributor to O at Home magazine and hosts Oprah & Friends on XM Radio. He currently resides in Chicago.
Nate Berkus appears as host on ABC's Oprah's Big Give
. A reality game show, it features 10 contestants who are given large sums of money. The contestants compete against each other in finding “the most powerful, sensational, emotional and dramatic ways to give to others.” Nate describes the show as an emotional roller coaster. “In each city, it was so exciting to see what the contestants would do next for people. This show is such an amazing way to get people to think outside of themselves and reconnect with society," he said.
(Photo courtesy of ABC)