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Ty Pennington is a TV host, author and designer whose purview, in all its forms, is home improvement.
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Ty Pennington was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 19, 1964. Debuting in 2000, the reality show Trading Spaces helped make Pennington a nationally known figure. One of the show's carpenters, Pennington soon became a nationally recognized star, and released his first home-improvement book. In 2004, he left Trading Spaces to head up his own show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which has been a consistent hit in the ratings.
"[Extreme Makeover: Home Edition] isn’t like anything else on TV because it does something positive that makes a permanent difference. It’s real and it’s tangible."
Born on October 19, 1964, in Atlanta, Georgia, famed television personality and designer Ty Pennington is known for his enthusiasm, creativity and good looks. Pennington was raised by his mother, a child psychologist. At an early age, he showed a knack for taking things apart and building new wondrous creations. He even built playhouses for other kids in the neighborhood, asking to be paid in comic books.
Pennington first attended Kennesaw College where he studied art and history. Wanting to focus on design, he transferred to the Art Institute of Atlanta. Pennington earned a bachelor's degree from the school and then studied art and sculpture at the Atlanta College of Art for a time. To support himself, he often worked as a carpenter and also found work as a model. Pennington appeared in advertisements and catalogues for such companies as J. Crew, Diet Coke and Levi's.
In 1995, Pennington helped make the sets for the feature film Leaving Las Vegas, starring Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue. He also showed his talent for renovation by buying an old factory and converting it into lofts with his brother. With the house he bought in Atlanta's Grant Park neighborhood, Pennington demonstrated his ability to decorate in style with a limited budget, making a metal salad bowl into a sink and other such low-cost creative touches. He also started his own company, Furniture Unlimited, which sold his own designs.
The reality show Trading Spaces helped to make Pennington a nationally known figure. Debuting in the fall of 2000, the program centered on two teams switching homes to undertake an interior design project. Each team worked with a limited budget, a two-day time limit, a professional designer, and a carpenter. Pennington served as one of the show's carpenters.
A huge hit, the show became the most watched program on The Learning Channel cable network. Pennington himself developed a huge fan following, especially among female viewers, who enjoyed his goofy humor and his handsome appearance. People magazine named him one of its "Top 50 Bachelors" in 2002.
While on the show, Pennington released his first book, Ty's Tricks: Home Repair Secrets Plus Cheap and Easy Projects to Transform Any Room, in 2003. The book became a best-seller. The following year, he signed a contract with Sears to serve as a spokesperson.
Also in 2004, Pennington left Trading Spaces to head up his own show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, on the ABC television network. The heart-warming program has been a consistent hit in the ratings, captivating viewers with its strong human interest stories.
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