Recurring star on the Discovery Channel series Gold Rush who purchased the Big Nugget Mine in Porcupine Creek, Alaska when he was 68 years old. He purchased the mine after undergoing triple bypass surgery because his doctors told him to remain active.
He served in the United State Air Corps from 1941 to 1946 following the Pearl Harbor bombings.
He was a competitive bridge player, placing in several national tournaments.
His father was a Kansas wheat farmer who fled from US Marshals as he was brewing bootleg alcohol. He had five children with his wife Erma Dire.
He passed on his gold mining operations to his grandsons Payson and Parker Schnabel.