Jon Gosselin

Jon Gosselin Headshot


Birth Date: April 1, 1977

Age: 47 years old

Birth Place: Wyomissing, Pennsylvania

Spouses: Kate Gosselin

Children: Collin Gosselin

All eyes and ears were on the Gosselin family, stars of TLC's hit reality series "Jon and Kate Plus 8" (2007- ) in 2009. The show focused on parents Jon Gosselin and his wife Kate, as well as their children - a pair of twins and a set of sextuplets. Fans of the show branded Gosselin a patient and easygoing guy; often the target of his wife's insults and strict approach to parenting. Ironically, the success of the show multiplied when the couple's marital problems - and a growing concern for their children's well being - dominated tabloids and the blogosphere.

The Gosselins announced their separation on air in June 2009, the same day they filed for divorce in a Pennsylvania court. The special episode saw the channel's highest ratings and turned family man Gosselin into one of the most talked about father figures in television history.

Jonathan Keith Gosselin was born on April 1, 1977 in Wyomissing, PA. Simply known for his nickname "Jon," he was of French, Irish, and Korean descent and was the middle child in a family of three boys. On Oct. 5, 1997 Gosselin met Kate Kreider at a picnic. The couple married less than two years later on June 12, 1999. After Kate was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, the newlyweds began infertility treatments. They finally got their wish on Oct. 8, 2000, giving birth to twin girls Cara Nichole and Madelyn Kate. Three years after the birth of the twins, the Gosselins decided to have another child. This time, however, Kate carried six babies.

The sextuplets - three boys named Aaden, Joel, and Collin, and three girls named Leah, Hannah, and Alexis - were born on May 20, 2004. Discovery Health Channel took notice of the family's special situation - falling in love with the adorable Gosselin sextuplets - and featured them in the 2006 special, "Surviving Sextuplets and Twins." The audience couldn't get enough of the family so a follow-up aired on the channel a year later, titled "Surviving Sextuplets and Twins: One Year Later" (2007).

Having a hit on its hands, TLC took over and turned the Discovery Health specials into "Jon and Kate Plus 8," a regular series, which Jon and Kate narrated from the family's basement. While the children were shown playing and being kids, it was the couple who most often bickered on the show. Jon's easygoing attitude often rubbed Kate's strict parental mindset the wrong way. There were also happy moments documented, including family trips to Disneyworld and the sextuplets' birthdays. With their children growing every minute and a production crew following their every day, the Gosselins moved from a modest home to an expansive $1.1 million estate in southeastern Pennsylvania.

It was not just the show that made the Gosselins top earners of the small screen. The family became its own media empire that extended to publishing and public appearances. In 2008, along with Beth Carson, they released the book Multiple Blessings: Surviving to Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets. In November of that year, Multiple Blessings made The New York Times bestseller list a week after its release. A year later, she released Eight Little Faces. Speaking engagements began with the couple and a few of the kids, but by 2009, Kate had done the majority of the public appearances. It was rumored that Jon stayed at home with the kids, preferring not to share too much of their lives in the spotlight while his wife relished all the attention.

More than 4 million viewers tuned in to "Jon and Kate Plus 8" each week and it was estimated the family earned $25,000 to $50,000 per episode, yet the growing tension between Jon and Kate escalated each season. In early 2009, rumors swirled that their marriage was on the rocks, and that they both had had extramarital affairs. The show went from peeking in on a happy family into a tabloid sensation overnight. The fifth season of the show opened with the sextuplets' fifth birthday celebration, with their parents' physical and emotional distance more apparent than ever. The Gosselins even conducted their interviews separately.

By May of that year, almost every tabloid cover featured the couple's marital problems, with photos of Jon's months-long alleged affair with third grade school teacher Deanna Hummel brought to light. The once-happy couple became media targets overnight, with Gosselin pegged as a womanizer and coward, while his wife was branded everything from a manipulative ice queen to a martyr. The Gosselin drama touched on the kids' lives as well, with an In Touch Weekly cover photo of Kate spanking Mady - combined with the headline "Caught Hitting Her Daughter" - selling for $75,000. The issue then went on to sell 1.2 million copies, outselling People magazine's annual "Hottest Bachelors" issue.

During an hour-long broadcast on June 22, 2009, Jon and Kate publicly announced their separation on the very same day the couple filed for divorce in a Montgomery County, PA court. The episode began with a storyline about building toy houses for their children, but by the end, Jon made the announcement everyone had been waiting for. "Kate and I have decided to separate," he said. "I'm not very fond of the idea, personally, but I know it's necessary." Kate added, "My goal is peace for the kids."

TLC hit ratings gold with the special announcement episode. An estimated 10.6 million viewers tuned in, beating the show's fifth season premiere by 800,000 viewers. The Gosselins kept the Pennsylvania house they shared with their kids and decided to take turns living there, ensuring that their children's lives were not greatly affected by their divorce. Just a few days after they filed, Kate went on a media tour, even telling People magazine, "I believe it is a chapter that would have probably played out had the world been watching or not." Jon, on the other hand, was spotted apartment hunting in New York City while his rumored younger girlfriend, Hummel, was reported to have a featured part in "Jon and Kate Plus 8" when the show returned in August 2009. TLC announced the reason for the short hiatus was to give the family space to regroup during a difficult time.

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