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Jesse James was CEO of West Coast Choppers before it closed in 2010, and was in a heavily publicized relationship with actress Sandra Bullock.
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Born on April 19, 1969, in Lynwood, California, Jesse James was the owner of the popular motorcycle manufacturer West Coast Choppers. His dedication to the growth of his company led to other opportunities for James, such as hosting the reality show Monster Garage. However, after more than a decade of success, the company went out of business in 2010. That same year, James was accused of cheating on his wife, film actress Sandra Bullock,
"I was always scared. My whole childhood, I never had a chance to be a kid."
with multiple women. Bullock filed for divorce in April 2010, and the Hollywood couple split.
Custom motorcycle manufacturer and public figure Jesse Gregory James was born on April 19, 1969, in Lynwood, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. His parents divorced when James was very young, and he was raised by his father, Larry, an antiques dealer. James says that he endured a rough childhood marred by regular physical and emotional abuse from his father. "I was always scared," he recalls. "My whole childhood, I never had a chance to be a kid."
Larry James' antique shop was located next door to a Harley-Davidson parts supplier, and from a very young age, Jesse James was fascinated by motorcycles. "I remember seeing a pack of Hell's Angels blasting by our family car when I was about 6, and they were all riding choppers," James recalls. "I remember all the noise and all the chrome. It was the coolest thing I ever saw. I knew then that I was going to be involved in motorcycles in some way."
When Jesse James was 7, his father bought him a small dirtbike, which he cherished and rode everywhere. When he wasn't riding his bike, James proved himself to be a natural tinkerer. His father remembers, "It didn't matter if it was Legos, a pile of Tonka trucks, or his bikes, you could always find Jesse with everything laid out on the floor, tearing things apart to see if he could make them better in some way."
Jesse James attended La Sierra High School in Riverside, California, where he was a star linebacker on the football team. He graduated high school in 1987 and enrolled at the University of California at Riverside, where he played on the football team and dreamed of somehow making the leap from small-school ball to the NFL. However, following two injury-plagued seasons, James quit the team and dropped out of school.
A longtime fan of the Los Angeles alternative music scene, James landed a job as a bodyguard for the hard-rock bands Slayer and Soundgarden. Even while working full time as a bodyguard, James never gave up on his dream of building motorcycles for a living. He visited custom motorcycle garages in his spare time, and remained convinced that the industry needed a breath of fresh air. "The custom scene back then was complete crap," James said. "Nobody wanted to take a risk and build a really wild, in-your-face motorcycle."
In 1993, James fell off the stage during a concert and dislocated his elbow, leaving him temporarily unable to work as a bodyguard. Not one to sit idle, James took advantage of the time off to pursue his childhood dream of building motorcycles.
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