Bill Nye is currently the CEO of The Planetary Society, the largest non-governmental space interest organization in the world. He is also the host of Bill Nye Saves the World, a Netflix TV show which made its debut in spring 2017. Popularly known as “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” the man is a mechanical engineer by training, a science communicator, comedian, TV presenter, and writer.
Nye became popular in the 1990s as the host of a children’s science show on PBS Bill Nye the Science Guy. The show received a lot of recognition and won 19 Emmy Awards out of 23 nominations. Riding on the success of Bill Nye the Science Guy, he has made many subsequent appearances in popular media as a science educator.
The Science Guy came under fire in January 2018 for attending President Trump’s first SOTU address as a guest of Jim Bridenstine. Jim Bridenstine is Trump’s controversial nominee for NASA Administrator who, in several quarters is considered to be highly unqualified to run NASA. Bridenstine has also remained estranged from the US science community due to his continued denial of the realities of climate change and therefore he is regarded as “anti-science”.
Being the nation’s foremost science communicator, having Bill Nye fraternize with the supposedly anti-science Jim Bridenstine didn’t go down well with several groups in the science community. Many of such groups petitioned The Science Guy, urging him not to attend the event.
According to Nye, who had been a voice against the Trump administration’s climate denial, attending the SOTU gave him the opportunity to further promote space science and exploration. However, his critics insist that attending the event was Bill Nye’s endorsement of the current US president’s stance on climate change and some of his policies which are considered as anti-science.
Bill Nye Bio
William Sanford Nye was born on November 27, 1955, in Washington, D.C. His mother, Jacqueline Jenkins-Nye (née Jenkins) was a codebreaker during World War II. She died in 2000. His father Edwin Darby “Ned” Nye died earlier in 1997. From what we learned, he was also a veteran of the 2nd world war. It is said that his experience in a war prisoner’s camp made him a sundial enthusiast.
He had his early education at Lafayette Elementary and Alice Deal Junior High in his home city of Washington. He completed his high school education at the private Sidwell Friends School and graduated in 1973. His higher education was at Cornell University and he graduated in 1977 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Upon graduation from Cornell, Nye worked for the Boeing Corporation where he invented a hydraulic resonance suppressor tube used on Boeing 747 planes. He also worked at Sundstrand Data Control (now Honeywell), and a number of other engineering outfits in Seattle. Nye applied severally to become a NASA astronaut but was never accepted.
It was quite a surprise when Nye started doing standup comedy while still holding a regular job as a mechanical engineer at Boeing. He discovered how much he loved to make people laugh and quit his job at Boeing on October 3, 1986, to become a full-time comedian.
In 1986, Bill began a local sketch comedy TV show in Seattle, called Almost Live!. While still working freelance on Almost Live, he kept looking out for more TV gigs in which he could get to teach science and equally entertain his audience.
His big break came in 1993 when he developed a Bill Nye the Science Guy pilot for KCTS-TV. The program became part of a limited series of TV content that local stations could schedule to meet up with the Children’s Television Act requirements. Therefore, Bill Nye the Science Guy was the first program to run concurrently on both commercial and public stations with each episode aimed at teaching a specific science topic. Surprisingly, the show wouldn’t be enjoyed by kids alone. It was observed as a useful teaching aid for science teachers.
Bill Nye also published several books including New York Times Bestseller “Undeniable,” “Unstoppable” and his latest, “Everything All at Once”. Still riding on the success of Bill Nye the Science Guy, he has made many subsequent appearances in popular media as a science educator.
In 2005, Nye attempted to reinvent his career with the show titled The Eyes of Nye. However, the show wasn’t successful and lasted for just one season. Before becoming the president of the Planetary Society in 2010, Bill Nye was the vice-president of the society since 2005. In July 2012, Nye endorsed President Barack Obama‘s reelection bid.
Wife, Is He Married or Gay?
In 2006, 51-year-old Bill Nye announced his engagement to musician Blair Tindall who he had dated for five months. The wedding ceremony was held at the Entertainment Gathering at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
Nye, however, left the union seven weeks later when the marriage license was declared invalid. In 2007, Nye filed for a restraining order against Tindall after an incident in which she invaded his home and used herbicide to damage his garden. Tindall admitted to getting into his home, however, she said she didn’t pose any threat to Nye.
Tindall was ordered to pay $57,000 of Nye’s legal expenses after she violated the order in 2009. Nye sued her again in 2012 for unpaid attorney’s fees but she is yet to pay any of the $57,000 to date.
After his short marriage stint with musician Blair Tindall, Bill Nye has not been linked with any other woman or man. Even though he has managed to remain in the public eye for several decades, his personal life has been closely guarded. He has also not publicly addressed the question of his sexuality. Going by the fact that he once contracted a marriage with a woman, Bill Nye is most likely straight.
Is Bill Nye Dead?
The CEO of Planetary Science is alive and well. However, he has fallen victim to a number of death hoaxes. The first was an August 23, 2000, story from satirical news outlet The Onion. The story had it that the Science Guy had been killed in a massive explosion involving vinegar and baking soda. According to the false publication, Nye had been trying to demonstrate how to create a weather balloon using household items.
In November 2010, then 54-year old Bill Nye collapsed mid-sentence during a California speech. However, he regained consciousness quick enough to resume his speech. Again, the man is alive and well.
The Science Guy stands at a height of 6ft 1 inch. His lanky frame amounts to about 143 lbs on the scale, not so much for an over 6-ft man. Bill Nye has grey hair and his eyes are brown in color.
Bill Nye’s net worth is estimated at $6.5 Million. The Science guy has amassed quite a fortune for himself through his earlier years as a comedian and TV presenter. While he hasn’t retired from TV, Nye is also a best-selling author and as a science educator, he holds paid seminars. In fact, he was paid a $35,000 speaker’s fee when he got an honorary doctorate degree from Rutgers University in May 2015.
One of Bill Nye’s assets is a 1,685 square feet home which he bought for $1,075,000 in 2006. The Science Guy has not one, not two, but seven electric cars in his collection. The seventh electric car is the “Kinetic Blue” Chevrolet Bolt EV which he acquired in 2017 for $37,495.