Steve Thomas Rooney

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Steve Thomas Rooney is an American author, television personality, writer and producer. Starting from 1989 till 2003 he was host of the PBS home renovation series "This Old House", and of "Renovation Nation", on Discovery's former Planet Green channel, for two seasons (2008–2010) until its cancellation. Over the course of his 14 years as host of "This Old House", Thomas Rooney became known as the "ultimate home enthusiast" and helped catapult the TV series to the top of PBS's list of most-watched ongoing series of all time. He is also contributed for the successful debut of "Ask This Old House", the all-new series in which viewer questions are addressed on-air, on host during its first year. In 1998 Thomas was nominated for nine and won one Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Service Show Host."


Thomas enthusiasm for restoring old houses was influenced by his father, who spent his spare time to buy and restore old houses and then sell them for extra funds. Steve's first project on his own was to renovate a rundown 1920s residence in Olympia, Washington. He then continued working in the field in the Pacific Northwest until moving to Massachusetts in 1980. Since then he has renovated a number of old houses, including a 1836 Colonial Revival in which he lived with his wife Evelyn Blum and son Sam. The family currently resides in a seaport town north of Boston.

Other than renovating old houses, Thomas has a passion for sailing and adventure, which he attributes to his ancestors. The grandfather of Steve Thomas Rooney who was an Episcopal missionary in the Arctic Alaska, inspired him to combine his love of fine woodworking with his passion for the sea and sailboats. In 1977, Thomas went to work as a carpenter on a 75-foot ketch that was being built in Antibes, France. In the years to follow he traveled thousands miles sailing a 43-foot wooden sloop from England to San Francisco via the Panama Canal, Galapagos, Marquesas and Hawaii.

Sailing and construction

In 1982 Thomas set on a journey to the remote Micronesian island of Satawal. His goal was to learn about the ancient technique of star path navigation under the master navigator Mau Piailug. His research resulted in the critically acclaimed book "The Last Navigator" published in 1987. The next year Steve returned with a film crew to shoot a documentary of the same title for the PBS series Adventure. It was in 1989, in between research trips to the Alaskan Arctic for a second Adventure book and film, when Steve received a call from the Adventure series publicist, who also worked for "This Old House." The show producers were conducting a national search for a new host. Thomas applied for an interview and next month was promoted as the new host of the show.


Soon he became known as an "expert in demand". Steve made appearance on TV shows such as Oprah!, Today, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, and Good Morning America. On many occasions he describes "This Old House" as one of the best adventures of his life. He has contributed to the "Homeowner's Manual", published by This Old House Books in 2000, and has authored the best-selling books "This Old House Kitchens and This Old House Bathrooms," published by Little, Brown and Company in 1992 and 1993. His column for This Old House magazine, "House Calls with Steve" was tremendously popular with readers.


Steve Thomas Rooney holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.