Fred Hurt, also known by his nickname “Big Boot,” was a prominent figure in the world of American mining and reality television. Born on July 10, 1943, in Minot, North Dakota, USA, he had a passion for mining that spanned decades. He gained widespread fame and recognition as a reality TV personality through his appearances on the popular series, “Gold Rush.”

Hurt’s adventurous spirit, relentless determination, and immense knowledge of mining made him a beloved character on the show. However, on July 11, 2023, the mining community and “Gold Rush” fans were deeply saddened by the news of his passing in Glendale, Oregon, USA. Despite his departure, his legacy as a skilled miner and entertaining personality will continue to inspire many in the mining industry and beyond.

What Was Hurt’s Net Worth?

At the time of his death, Fred Hurt had amassed a net worth of $6 million. His primary source of income came from his involvement in mining, where he showcased his expertise and dedication on the reality TV show “Gold Rush,” along with a few of its spin-off shows. His mining ventures, combined with his entertaining appearances on television, contributed significantly to his financial success.

Fred Hurt is sitting in the passenger seat of the vintage green car.
Fred Hurt celebrating the 4th of July (Source: Fred Hurt Facebook)

Moreover, Hurt was a man of many talents as he also owned and operated a construction company for over two decades. His business acumen and hard work in both mining and construction played a crucial role in building his impressive net worth. Despite his passing, his legacy as a skilled miner and businessman will be remembered by his fans and those inspired by his adventurous spirit and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Who Was Hurt Married To At The Time Of His Death?

At the time of his death, Fred Hurt was married to Jennifer Sheets, also known as Jane Hurt. They tied the knot on July 30, 2016, in a beautiful ceremony held at Letnikof Cove in Haines, Alaska. Throughout their marriage, she preferred to keep a low profile and was a private person. Despite her desire for privacy, she made some appearances in the TV series “Gold Rush: White Water.”

Fans got the chance to see Sheets in eight episodes of the show, spanning from 2018 to 2020. Fred and Jennifer’s relationship was one of love and companionship, standing strong until his passing on July 11, 2023. Even though her public appearances were limited, her presence in Fred’s life and on the show left a lasting impact on those who followed their journey.

How Many Kids Was Hurt The Father Of?

Hurt was the proud father of four kids: Dustin, Jennifer, Julie, and Bray Hurt. Among them, Dustin gained popularity for his work in the mining industry. Notably, he and his father worked together as members of the Dakota Boys, a group formed to mine at Porcupine Creek after the Hoffman Group departed.

Dustin Hurt is taking the selfie and Fred Hurt looks on out in the woods.
Fred Hurt with his son, Dustin Hurt (Source: Fred Hurt Instagram @Fred Hurt Facebook)

Despite their professional collaboration, Dustin had some difficulties with his father and developed unique way of addressing him. Instead of calling him “Dad,” He referred to his father as “Fred.” This unconventional choice originated when he started working for his father at the age of 16. He always found it awkward to call his boss “Dad” in the work environment, so he began addressing him by his first name. Over time, this nickname, “Fred,” stuck, and it became their way of relating to each other both on and off the mining site.

Hurt’s Second Wife Had Passed Away

Before marrying Jennifer Sheets, Hurt had another loving partner, Lorrayne Frances Leier. Sadly, she passed away on February 2, 2015, at 80, in the comfort of her home. She was born on June 4, 1934, in Bergen, North Dakota, and had a vibrant personality. She had a passion for attending auctions and became a regular vendor at the Minot Flea Market, where she was affectionately known as ‘the Jewelry Lady’ due to her collection of beautiful jewelry pieces.

Both Leier and Hurt shared a strong entrepreneurial spirit and managed a successful collectible business together and ran a construction company. Beyond their professional endeavors, they were deeply involved in various local civic organizations, actively contributing to their community. The memory of her vibrant and caring personality continues to live on in the hearts of those who knew her. He didn’t disclose much about his married life with his first wife. There isn’t much information on her unidentified first-wife.

Worked In The Gold Rush TV Series

Fred Hurt gained widespread fame and recognition when he became a part of the “Gold Rush” TV Series. His appearances in the show started in 2011 and continued until 2020, spanning an impressive 59 episodes. The show is a popular reality TV series that follows various crews as they mine for gold in the placer deposits of the Yukon Territory as mentioned in the show’s IMDb page.

Fred Hurt is wearing a black hoodie in the picture.
Fred Hurt in the Gold Rush: White Water (Source: Discovery UK YouTube Channel)

Hust’s expertise in mining and his entertaining personality made him a beloved character on the show. Additionally, he also appeared in the spin-off series “Gold Rush: White Water,” captivating audiences from 2018 to 2023. Moreover, he made a special appearance in an episode of “Gold Rush: South America,” showcasing his versatility and knowledge in the mining industry.

At one point, Hust worked alongside the Hoffman Group during their first season at Porcupine Creek. However, before Season 5, he decided to pull his crew out of “Gold Rush” and ventured into his TV show called “All That Glitters.” His journey on television showcased his passion for mining and contributed significantly to his status as a beloved personality in the industry.

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What Caused Hurt’s Death?

Hurt’s death was caused by a brief but intense battle with brain cancer. Sadly, he passed away just four months after being diagnosed with the illness as mentioned in an article from Daily Mail. On July 11, 2023, the world lost a remarkable individual when he succumbed to the disease at the age of 80. His sudden departure came as a shock to his family, friends, and countless fans who admired his resilience and determination throughout his life.

Despite facing a challenging and aggressive illness, Hurt continued to inspire others with his strength and positive attitude until the very end. His contributions to the mining industry and the world of reality television will forever be cherished, and his memory will live on as a testament to the impact he made during his time on this earth.

Life Before Becoming A Miner

Before becoming a miner, Fred Hurt had a diverse and successful career in the construction industry. Throughout the majority of his working life, he took on various roles, including being a commercial driver in the Gulf of Mexico and engaging in underwater construction, demolition, and salvage projects. His experience and skills led him to establish his construction business, which he ran for nearly 25 years before deciding to retire.

However, retirement didn’t last long for Hurt. His son-in-law approached him with an intriguing proposition – the opportunity to delve into the world of gold mining. Intrigued by the idea and enticed by the thrill of a new adventure, he agreed to join the mining venture. Little did he know that this decision would pave the way for a whole new chapter in his life, making him a well-known figure in the mining industry and a beloved personality on the TV show “Gold Rush.”

Why Did Hurt Get Death Threats?

Hurt received death threats due to the way his character was portrayed in the TV show, “Gold Rush Alaska,” specifically in Season 2, Episode 1. The show depicted him as someone who stole the Porcupine Creek claim from other miners and mistreated them in the process. However, he vehemently denied these allegations and has gathered evidence through video and audio recordings to refute the portrayal.

Despite Hurt’s efforts to clarify the truth, the fictional presentation on TV led to a barrage of negative comments and threats directed at him for years. The situation became so serious that the FBI conducted a two-year investigation to assess the danger he was in. Ultimately, the investigation confirmed that the TV presentation was indeed fictional and solely produced for entertainment purposes.


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