Rick Steves Biography, Age, Early Life, Education, Career, Family, Political, Personal Life, Wife, civic advocacy, Net Worth & More

Rick Steves Biography

Richard John Steves Jr., an American travel writer, novelist, activist, and television personality, was born on May 10, 1955. His approach to travel encourages visitors to discover less-visited sections of their chosen locations and to immerse themselves in the local culture. He has been the host of the public television travel program Rick Steves’ Europe since 2000. In addition, Steves hosts a travel program on public radio called Travel with Rick Steves (2005–present).

He has also written a number of travel books, the first of which was the well-known Europe Through the Back Door. In 2010, his company produced a mobile phone application called “Rick Steves’ Audio Europe” that included self-guided walking tours and geographical data. He started off as a syndicated newspaper writer in 2006.

Rick Steves Quick Bio / Wiki

Real Name/Full Name Rick Steves
Birth Place: Barstow, California, U.S
Date Of Birth/Birthday: 10 May 1955
Age/How Old: 68 years old
Height/How Tall: In Centimetres – 182cm
In Feet and Inches – 6′ 0″
Weight: In Kilograms – 80Kg
In Pounds – 176lbs
Eye Color: Dark Blue
Hair Color: Blond And Gray
Parents Name: Father – Richard John Steves
Mother – June Erna Steves
Siblings: Jan and Linda Steves
School/College: Edmonds-Woodway High School, The University of Washington
Nationality: American
Zodiac Sign:  Taurus
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Divorced
Wife/Spouse Name: Anne Steves (Ex-Wife)
Kids/Children Name: Andy and Jackie Steves
Profession: Television Personality And Travel Author
Net Worth: $15 million
Social Media: FacebookYoutubeTwitter
Last Updated: July 2023

Rick Steves Early life and career

Richard John Steves Sr. was born in Barstow, California, to June Erna Steves, née Fremmerlid, and Richard John Steves, a high school band director and piano technician. Harold and Erna Fremmerlid, immigrants from Norway, were the parents of his mother, June Erna.[1] Jan and Linda are his two sisters. In 1967, the family relocated to Edmonds, Washington.

When Steves was 14 years old, he traveled to Europe with his parents to tour the piano manufacturing. The family ran the “Steves Sound of Music” piano shop, where they imported, sold, and tuned pianos. On the backs of postcards that he consecutively numbered, he wrote down what he observed and felt. All of those cards are still with him, kept in a wooden box.

During the Apollo 11 moon landing, the family also traveled to see family in Norway. While in an Oslo park, Steves had a life-changing epiphany: “This planet must be home to billions of equally lovable children of God.” He traveled to Europe once more after turning 18 but this time without his parents. He also recorded every one of those incidents in journals.

Steves graduated from the University of Washington in 1978 with a double major in business administration and European history.

In his 20s, Steves began working as a tour guide in the summer and teaching travel classes through The Experimental College, a student-run program of non-credit classes at his alma mater, the University of Washington. He was also a piano teacher at the time. He wrote the first edition of Europe Through the Back Door (ETBD), a general handbook on how to travel in Europe, in 1979 using the information from his travel classes.

In 1980, Steves self-published the first version of his book ETBD on travel tips. On a page of the book, it was written, “Anyone caught reprinting any material herein for any purpose whatsoever will be thanked profusely.” He started a storefront business, unlike most entrepreneurs from business manuals. This started out as a travel agency and a piano instruction business. He led travel seminars and gave slide shows, worked as a travel consultant, planned a few group vacations each year, and had his books updated. He didn’t offer services like booking tickets or other common travel agency offerings. “Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door” was the name under which his company was incorporated. The shop was located in Edmonds, Steves’ hometown, which is north of Seattle.

The business’s main office is still in Edmonds. Travels in Europe with Rick Steves, his first television program, premiered on public television in April 1991 and ran until it was canceled in 1998. Rick Steves’ Europe, his second program, premiered in September 2000 and has continued to air episodes until 2020, however this amounts to 11 seasons because he does not produce a season every year.

Rick Steves Education

Rick Steves attended Edmonds-Woodway High School until he graduated. He then enrolled at The University of Washington to continue his education.

Rick Steves Current activities

Steves promotes self-directed travel. His publications and media are primarily geared toward North American readers and focus on travel, primarily in Europe. In his travel books and as host, writer, and producer of the well-liked and enduring American Public Television series Rick Steves’ Europe, he exhorts Americans to live abroad as “temporary locals.” He urges his readers and viewers to travel to not only bustling cities but also quaint towns off the beaten path. The “Rickniks” are admirers of Rick Steves who follow his company’s European escorted bus tours, television shows, books, radio broadcasts, and mobile apps.

With the release of his first season of Travels in Europe With Rick Steves in 1991, Steves’ association with public television officially began. Since then, he has established himself as one of the top hosts of public television pledge drives, raising millions of dollars each year for stations all around the country. His own production business, Back Door Productions, handles the writing and co-production of his television shows.

Steves has created phrasebooks, city and regional guides, nation guidebooks, and co-authored Europe 101: History and Art for Travelers since he self-published his first book in 1980. His guide to Italy is the most popular foreign guidebook in the United States. He began writing in a new style of travel writing in 1999 with his anecdotal Postcards from Europe, which detailed his best experiences from his many travels. Avalon Travel Publishing, a part of the Perseus novels Group, is the publisher of Steves’ novels. The book Travel as a Political Act by Steves, which offers advice on how to travel more carefully, was released in 2009.

Steves has diversified his business into radio, newspapers, and mobile applications in addition to his books and television programs. Travel with Rick Steves, Steves’ weekly public radio show, debuted in 2005. Each show has a guest travel expert for interviews, with a focus on the world of travel but with a strong emphasis on Europe and North America, followed by call-ins with queries and opinions. In 2006, Steves’ Tribune Content Agency column made him a syndicated newspaper writer. In 2010, he released the iPhone and Android app Rick Steves’ Audio Europe, a collection of audio material (including self-guided walking tours) grouped into place-specific playlists.

Rick Steves Political and civic advocacy

In terms of politics, Steves has declared himself a supporter of the Democratic Party and spoken out in favor of Joe Biden’s and Hillary Clinton’s respective presidential bids in 2016 and 2020.

Steves is a fervent supporter of changing the law in the United States to allow for the legalization of cannabis. Steves asserts that he shares the majority of Europeans’ view that marijuana is a soft drug similar to alcohol and tobacco. There is no reason why it shouldn’t be taxed and regulated like alcohol and tobacco. Only when crime is employed improperly enough to hurt innocent people should it be considered.

Steves is a member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws’ advisory board and will take over as the board’s chairman in 2021. Additionally, he played a significant role in the success of Initiative 502, which legalized, taxed, and regulated cannabis in the state of Washington. Marijuana: It’s Time for a Conversation, which was sponsored by the ACLU and hosted by Steves, was nominated for an Emmy.

Steves is in favor of anti-homelessness measures as well. He built Trinity Place, a 24-unit apartment building in Lynnwood, Washington, in 2005 to offer temporary shelter for homeless moms and their kids. Trinity Place is managed by the neighborhood YWCA. Steves gave the YWCA the $4 million housing complex for homeless women and children in 2017. The Edmonds Noontime Rotary Club provides everything from furniture to flowers to assist in maintaining the structures and grounds. The organization also raised $30,000 to construct a play area for the nearby kids.

Additionally, Steves contributes earnings from one of his books to the organization Bread for the World, which works to alleviate world hunger.

Steves, a patron of the arts, gifted the Cascade Symphony Orchestra and Edmonds Center for the Arts $1 million in 2011.

As a longtime traveler, Steves asserts that Americans should get used to terrorism as a natural byproduct of the country’s place in the world and its technologically capable military. In part of a KCTS interview with Enrique Cerna, Steves stated:

“I believe there are 300 million of us, and even if we lose a few hundred to terrorism each year, that doesn’t alter who we are or how our society functions. Since we take the position in the world of being the military powerhouse, you’re going to have people pecking at you, therefore I think we should get accustomed to losing. In addition, if it’s hundreds or thousands, we lose 15,000 people year because of the right to bear guns, and the majority of people consider that to be a good bargain consistently. 15,000 people were sacrificed for the right to bear arms. What resources do we use to maintain our aggressive and massive weight on this planet? There will always be terrorism.

When he visited Iran, he observed how Americans and Iranians both gave up freedoms to reduce their feelings of fear:

“Out of fear, they exchanged their independence for a theocracy. It resembles Americans exactly. We oppose torture, want to maintain our personal liberties, and don’t want the government to read our letters. But when we are afraid, we allow our devotion to our civil liberties and dignity to be compromised. We consent to both torture and mail reading by the government. It’s not that we’re wicked; rather, there are instances when fear takes precedence over our fundamental principles. Iran is terrified. They have abandoned democracy in favor of a theocracy because they believe it will be stronger in the face of Western values.

The American flag being flown on car antennas, according to Steves’ argument in Travel as a Political Act, “creates a fearful, schizophrenic dynamic that may fuel today’s terrorism and tomorrow’s international conflicts.”

Steves donated to the American Civil Liberties Union a sum equal to the total of all purchases made on his website on January 20, 2017, the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration. Steves claims that after he publicized the initiative, the website saw increased traffic and buyers spent $42,962 on goods.

“Those of us with passports and who are wealthy enough to travel a lot—especially white, straight, Christian males like me—don’t often think a lot about civil liberties… at least, not in an immediate or personal way,” he said in a statement accompanying a $50,000 donation to the ACLU. For most of us, civil liberties simply aren’t a concern. A wealthy individual can afford to engage a competent attorney if they run into legal issues. Our prisons are overcrowded with the impoverished. Nobody is going to arrest me if I want to smoke marijuana. Poor and black persons are more likely to be detained and later lose their rights. I am heard because I conform to social expectations and have resources.

He stated in June 2019 that his tour company would donate $1 million year to a variety of environmental NGOs in order to reduce the carbon emissions produced by the 30,000 annual tourists who utilize his tour program, realizing that travel is a source of environmental harm. Steves responds that if customers favor booking with his company because of the carbon offset, other travel companies will be obliged to follow suit in order to stay in business. Critics assert that travel can never be carbon neutral and that his donations amount to the wealthy feeling better.

Rick Steves Personal life

As a committed Lutheran, Steves has produced and hosted instructional videos on topics like Martin Luther and the European Reformation. He is an advocate of liberation theology. The Lutheran Peace Fellowship has heard him speak. The Luther Institute, a partner of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, gave him their Wittenberg Award in appreciation of his “outstanding service to church and society.”

Steves is descended from Norwegians. His sister Jan competes in the Iditarod. Anne Steves and he were wed until their divorce in 2010. They have two youngsters. In keeping with his father’s example, their son Andy Steves established his own travel agency, Weekend Student Adventures Europe, and published a book.

City-hopping in Europe on a Shoestring, by Andy Steves.

In December 2019, he started dating Bishop Shelley Bryan Wee of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Northwest Washington Synod.

About a third of each year is spent by Steves in Europe conducting research for travel guides and shooting TV episodes. He has continued to make Edmonds, Washington, his home since 1967.

Net Worth, Salary & Earnings of Rick Steves in 2023

Rick Steves, a well-known American novelist, is thought to be worth around $15 million. His net worth is approximated based on his authorship as of the 2023 forecasts.

Rick is a frequent traveler who also earns well from his frequent YouTube video uploads. He also hosts a radio show and is a television personality.

Who is Rick Steves?

Rick Steves, also known as Richard John Steves Jr., was born on May 10, 1955, in Barstow, California, in the United States. Rick was reared with two sisters and had two musicians for parents. When Rick was twelve, the family left their California home and moved to Edmonds, Washington. After his parents planned a vacation to explore piano manufacturing across Europe at the age of 14, Steves experienced his first taste of travel. Steves fell in love with Europe and the excitement of traveling, while his parents were focused on growing their own business (a piano store).

He went back to Europe once more when he was 18 years old, but this time without his parents.Following his high school graduation, Steves enrolled in the University of Washington. Rick studied European history, as one might anticipate from someone who was deeply in love with the continent. He did, however, also study business administration to support his future entrepreneurial success. In 1978, Rick Steves received his degree from the University of Washington.

What does Rick Steves do now?

The travel company Rick Steves’ Europe, which has a small-group tour program that yearly sends more than 30,000 individuals to Europe, was founded and is owned by Rick.

How did Rick Steves make his money?

Rick started taking independent excursions when he was 18 years old, paying for them by giving piano lessons. Rick Steves’ Europe, the firm he founded in 1976, has expanded from a one-man operation to one with 100 full-time, well-traveled personnel at its headquarters in Washington state.

How did Rick Steves become famous?

“Travel with Rick Steves,” a well-liked weekly radio program on National Public Radio (NPR), debuted in 2005 with the host. A year later, he began penning a weekly travel newspaper column that the Tribune Content Agency syndicated across the country.

What is Rick Steves degree in?

In addition to earning degrees in business administration and European history at the University of Washington, Rick Steves attended school there while growing up in Edmonds, Washington.

Is Rick Steves a millionaire?

An American television celebrity and travel writer with a $15 million fortune is Rick Steves.

How many houses and cars does Rick Steves have?

In 2017, it was revealed that Rick Steves had given the Seattle YWCA a 24-unit apartment building. Housing homeless people in the city was his main objective. He acknowledged that as part of his retirement strategy, he had began amassing cheap apartments decades ago. He did this after finding success in the television sector. Rick stated that the apartment building was valued $4 million in the press release.

How much does Rick Steves make per year?

An estimated $15 million is Rick’s net worth. His yearly income and compensation are unknown.

How many Philanthropy works has Rick Steves supported?

Rick Steve has given to several nonprofit organizations. To help alleviate world hunger, Steves once donated earnings from one of his books to Bread for the World. Additionally, he gave the Edmonds Center for the Arts $1 million. In addition, Steves gave the ACLU $50,000 after promising to donate $1 for each dollar spent on his website on Inauguration Day.

How many businesses does Rick Steves own?

Steves is well-known for his work as a travel writer and television personality. Rick founded and is the proprietor of Rick Steves’ Europe (RSE), a tourism company with over 100 full-time staff members. The “Rick Steves Audio Europe” smartphone app was introduced by Rick Steves in 2010. It gives visitors access to a selection of Rick’s self-guided excursions throughout Europe and is accessible for Android and iOS. Along with travel advice, the app offers cultural insights. Thousands of users have downloaded this program, which has garnered excellent reviews.



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