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Who is American Pickers’ Frank Fritz?

Frank Fritz, Mike Wolfe’s partner on American Pickers — and the show’s secret ingredient

American Pickers on History stars the awesome trio of upcycling experts Mike Wolfe, office manager-turned picker Danielle Colby, and the secret sauce — fellow picker Frank Fritz.

Fritz is an even-tempered and friendly on-air personality, a self-described “modern day recycler” and antique collectible expert.

Born in Davenport, Iowa, Frank met Mike at Bettendorf High School. Fritz has lived in the state almost all his life and Antique Archaeology, the business on which the show is based, is also headquartered in LeClaire, Iowa.

Fans of the show know that Frank is often teased by Wolfe about his love for his cats, his off-and-on dating life and his affinity for the “smalls”, collectibles that include antique toys, motorcycles, cars and really cool signs.

Danielle Colby also revealed in our recent exclusive interview that a lesser known fact about Frank was that “he loved his momma like Elvis did. She was his everything to him.”

Fritz is always seemingly at Mike’s side, with his interests also including old motorcycles, old toys, old cars, “and anything that is old and unusual.” Fritz is an active biker, who has attended big biker rallies in the past.

Fritz started collecting early. According to a past interview in 2011, when he attended Sudlow Intermediate School in Davenport he “discovered the joys of collecting, be it postage stamps, rocks or beer cans. He’d follow the train tracks from his home to the Village of East Davenport and pick up items that were discarded by hobos riding the railroad cars.”

According to his bio on his website, he was always digging for treasure in barns, garages, and junkyards as a kid. He worked for many years as a fire and safety inspector but always had a passion for antiques and junk. These days, he spends all his time on the road with Mike filming the top-rated show for History.

Frank has been called “the bearded charmer”, who connects with people who have reached that point where their collections are now a burden and perhaps wanting to lighten their earthly load of things and raise needed cash.

One of his secret talents is his ability to gauge sellers and create a bond of trust. If a seller is freezing up amid fears of losing a hard-earned collection, he helps make sure they know that their treasures will be preserved.

In 2013, Fritz used his official Facebook page to share he was suffering from Crohn’s disease, and thanked fans for their support.

He wrote: “A lot of you have been wondering about my health and my weight loss. I have an illness called Crohns Disease, which at times is difficult to deal with.

“Well, I have been feeling great! I started losing weight and ran with it! I have been exercising and eating good. (except for last week at the Iowa fair) Thanks for all of your kind words of concern! I couldn’t do what I do without all of you!”

It also looks like Frank is officially off the dating market! He recently shared that he and “his lady” Diann were recently in San Francisco, writing: “Share with your friends my pic of my lovely better half!”

See Frank in action on tonight’s American Pickers episode, Something Weird Here, where he and Mike pick a North Carolina collection of “weird and wonderful circus and sideshow memorabilia”.

American Pickers airs Mondays at 9/8c on History.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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