Jesse James is a man that wears many hats, to say the least. According to Biography, Jesse was born on April 19, 1969 and was born and raised in southern California. Jesse was raised by his father, Larry, who wasn’t the most loving towards Jesse and often abused him both physically and emotionally, which James, later on, went to rehab for to face later on in life.
Jesse is one of those people that can do just about everything. Jesse excels in everything from playing sports to building awesome motorcycles and cars to fabricating just about anything.
Unfortunately, among all the amazing things Jesse can do, he's famously known for breaking America’s Sweetheart's heart, completely tarnishing his already bad-boy image.
After going through a very messy and public divorce, it seemed Jesse couldn’t catch a break, as he was featured in the tabloids for car accidents, a trip to rehab, and the shock of closing the doors to his successful business without any notice.
Luckily, things seemed to get better for Jesse after he remarried and got away from the Hollywood spotlight. Here are 20 facts that you might not know about America’s bad boy, Jesse James.
19 Blacksmith Life
Jesse is a master fabricator, and it seems like he can build just about anything. Jesse even went halfway across the world to learn how to become a blacksmith. Jesse was fortunate enough to be an apprentice to one of the best blacksmiths in the world: Uri Hofi. Jesse traveled to Israel, and according to Motor Trend, Jesse documented his time he spent there with Uri and even made it into a documentary that was featured on the History Channel.
18 Off-Road Racer
The Baja series is one of the most famous and toughest off-road races in the world.
According to Truck Trend, Jesse was involved with the Baja series for many years, but it wasn’t until he closed the doors to West Coast Choppers in California 2011 that he took racing on as a full-time sport.
Jesse built a Chevy Silverado to enter into the Trophy Truck division. Jesse placed eighth in the in the Baja 250 even after losing a cylinder just a couple hundred miles into the eleven-hour race. James crashed his truck in the Baja 1000 but luckily walked away without any injuries.
17 Early Life
Believe it or not, Jesse James used to play football, and he was more than good—he was NFL material. According to Motor Trend, Jesse stands at 6’5” and played football all throughout high school. Jesse went on to play at Riverside Community College in hopes of eventually making his way into the NFL. After barely playing for two seasons due to injuries, Jesse hung up his cleats and got a job as a bouncer, working security for rock bands. It wasn't until he got hurt on the job that he pursued his dream to build motorcycles and opened his own shop. So, it was actually a blessing in disguise that he fell off that stage and got hurt!
16 "It Was A Good Thing"
Jesse may seem like a tough guy, but he’s actually very down to earth. We know he's not shy about being on camera and not only has features on plenty of his own shows but also made plenty of appearances on others shows. One of the most nontraditional shows he made an appearance on was on Martha Stewart. On the show, Martha told the audience that Jesse enjoys cooking and baking and discusses how Jesse recently got married to now ex-wife Sandra Bullock. Jesse even brought along his camera, as Sandra requested pictures from Martha’s kitchen. On the show, Jesse even helped Martha make an almond tart.
They say opposites attract, and that seemed to be the case when it came to Sandra Bullock and Jesse James. It seemed almost unreal that the two were dating when it first hit the media. The two seemed happy and eventually married. According to Biography, Bullock was nominated and won a Grammy for her outstanding performance in “The Blind Side” when shortly after, the news broke that Jesse had been cheating on Sandra. Jesse had to work hard to get his reputation back after this, and some will never look at him the same way after this scandal.
14 World Record Holder
Believe it or not, Jesse is a Guinness World Record holder. Back in 2009, Jesse managed to break the “world's land-speed record for a hydrogen-powered car.” Jesse built the car as a challenge that was presented to him in a challenge on his then-show “Jesse James is a Dead Man.” According to Motor Authority, Jesse used vehicles built back in the '60s called the “streamliner” to which he added a 9.8-liter with a set of twin-turbos to be able to produce a world-record speed of 199.7 mph! Talk about going almost 200 mph, literally.
13 Crash & Burn
It seems that Jesse had a bit of a black cloud over his head for a while. Back in 2011, news broke that Jesse had crashed his Ford GT40, and the rumors immediately began to fly. His son used some choice words (which we won’t mention) to clear up the matter after the media made some reports with false information. Jesse did crash his GT40 after he had lost control of the supercar that had been upgraded by Hennessey Performance. The already fast GT40 was good for 1,000 hp after being heavily modified by the performance group. According to sources, Jesse lost control of the vehicle on a windy road, resulting in his GT winding up in someone’s backyard. There was no report on how much damage was done to the GT.
12 TV Shows For Days
James got his break when the Discovery Channel chose West Coast Choppers to be filmed as part of a mini-series they were producing: "Motorcycle Mania." He hosted the show “Monster Garage" for a few years. He dabbled in production for a while, producing a few mini-series for the Discovery Channel.
He starred on a reality show called “Jesse James is a Dead Man” and competed in a competition against his rival Orange County Choppers.
11 Refused Stallone
Jesse has built many bikes for celebrities. You'd think money could buy you anything, but it might not be able to buy you one of Jesse’s bikes if he isn’t a fan of yours.
In an interview with Graham Bensinger, Jesse confirms that he refused to build a bike for Sylvester Stallone due to that fact that Sly wanted him to build one that was yellow to match his yellow Ferrari and Corvette, and Jesse refused to build a yellow bike.
He admits he got a bit of satisfaction shutting down Stallone, but you have to admit those are some strong standards.
10 Daily Driver
While Jesse loves to build his own cars and motorcycles, he actually didn’t build his Raptor that was his daily driver. Jesse Daily drove a Ford Raptor that had been upgraded by Hennessey Performance. Jesse said it was actually the first Raptor that Hennessey made. Jesse also had a Ford GT40 that was built by Hennessey Performance and that was mentioned earlier on the list, among many other cars in his personal collection.
9 West Coast Choppers
Jesse is most famously known for building custom motorcycles under his empire's name, West Coast Choppers (WCC.). WCC was established in Long Beach, California, where it was successfully owned and operated by Jesse for many years. According to Hot Bike, Jesse closed his shop's doors in California without much of an explanation other than that he just wanted to go back to the way things were before he started building bikes on TV. Jesse later opened up a new division of WCC in his new hometown, Austin, Texas.
8 Fast Wife
It seems like Jesse has been through an awful lot of women, but things seem to finally be working out for Jesse and his wife, Alexis DeJoria. Alexis is a retired drag racer, as she used to race a Nitro Funny Car, which is sponsored by Patron tequila. Alexis’s father is John Paul DeJoria, who's more famously known for being a part owner of both Paul Mitchell’s professional hair products and Patron Spirits Company. According to Mandatory, Jesse and Alexis met at the track, and Jesse was even part of her team while she was still racing.
7 Proud Pops
Jesse James is a family man and was often photographed dropping his kids off at school. According to Biography, Jesse has three children in total (not including his stepchildren): two from his first marriage, Chandler and Jesse Jr. Jesse has a third child with his second wife, Janine Lindemulder, who's more famously known in the adult movie industry; their daughter’s name is Sunny. Chandler has been featured in the media being bashed after photos surfaced of her using drugs, but she later got herself in order after spending some time in a rehab facility.
6 A-List Clientele
Jesse said he had built over 450 bikes in the decade that he owned his West Coast Choppers shop in California.
His clientele consists of plenty of A-list celebrities and athletes. Among the owners of Jesse’s bikes are Kid Rock and Tyson Beckford.
But hands down one of the craziest bikes that Jesse built is the one that he built for retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal aka Shaq. According to Biography, the massive bike was over eleven feet long in order to fit Shaq's massive frame.
5 "Nice Know’n You, Little Buddy"
It's no surprise that Jesse has had some accidents while building all sorts of vehicles throughout the years. He even managed to cut his own finger off in a freak accident at his shop. Jesse posted graphic pictures on Instagram after his glove got caught in a machine and cut the whole top of his pinky off, including his whole nail. Jesse made the best he could out of a bad situation. According to Huffington Post, Jesse posted a picture of his finger in two pieces with a caption reading, “Doesn’t look like this dude’s gonna make it, Nice know’n you little buddy”
Jesse is known for being a master fabricator, a blacksmith, and a gunsmith, among many other things. Jesse did a collaboration with Walmart a while back, and his own line of apparel and merchandise for "West Coast Choppers" that he still sells on his website. But being a working man, it only made sense that he would release his own line of protective gear. Jesse eventually designed and sold his own line of clothes that he named “Jesse James Workwear” that specialized in both work and riding gear.
3 Animal Lover
Jesse may be an amazing fabricator who's covered in tattoos, but he's actually a big softie at heart. Jesse is known for being an animal lover to all sorts of species. In fact, Jesse released an emotional video of him saying goodbye to his beloved Pitbull Bubba that had lost its battle to prostate cancer. Jesse is also a proud owner of a pet monkey, Tobi, and a whole mess of dogs, all which make regular appearances on his Instagram and ones dedicated to just them.
Jesse has been very open about his rough childhood, or rather, that he didn't have a childhood. Jesse often talks about how his father was abusive towards both him and his sister and how he felt he had to raise himself. According to his testimony in court, Jesse said he considered himself an alcoholic by the time he was just fifteen years old and continued his drinking until he was in his thirties.
Jesse remained sober but checked himself into rehab after divorcing Sandra Bullock.
According to Biography, Jesse's reasons for rehab was to deal with his bad childhood and his addiction to sex.
It seems that Jesse is a bit of an overachiever and has a hand in just about everything. He ever makes and sells his own high-end culinary knives, some knives costing as much as $1,300! When Jesse was featured on Martha Stewart, he expressed his passion for cooking and baking, so it only makes sense that the metal master would make his own knives. His company, “Jesse James Culinary,” handmakes every single knife, and according to their website, Jesse has the final sharpening of every knife before it's sold. Now that's awesome!
Sources: Biography.com, Huffingtonpost.com, Westcoastchoppers.com