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Paul Teutul, Sr.

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Paul Teutul
Paul Teutul, Sr, is the founder of Orange County Choppers (OCC)
BornPaul John Teutul
(1949-05-01) May 1, 1949 (age 65)
Yonkers, New York, U.S.
OccupationMotorcycle Designer and Builder
Spouse(s)Paula Teutul (divorced)
Beth Dillon (2007present)
ChildrenPaul Jr.

Paul John Teutul (born May 1, 1949) is one of the co-founders of Orange County Choppers, a manufacturer of custom motorcycles and focus of the reality television series American Chopper. Teutul first appeared on the show with his sons Paul Teutul, Jr. and Michael Teutul. In 2013 his new show "Orange County Choppers" premiered on CMT[1]

Early life

Teutul was born in Yonkers, New York and grew up in Pearl River, New York.

In a few episodes of American Chopper, Teutul has alluded to past abuse of drugs and alcohol. He has stated that he was a frequent cocaine user and, according to him, "had basically done any drug around".[2] During an episode in which his son Mikey interviewed OCC's staff for the Web site, he asked his father, "What is your best memory?" to which Teutul responded, "Gettin' sober." Additionally, he has mentioned having "missed out" on most of his children's childhoods and also stated he wanted to make up for it with his grandchildren.[citation needed]

In the book written by the Teutuls called The Tale of the Teutuls, Teutul reveals that he didn't know his middle name until his mid thirties, and he finds out that he is in fact a legal junior, having the same name as his father, but by then the nickname "senior" had already stuck.

Although he never served in a branch of the United States military during the Vietnam War, Teutul sailed as a member of the Merchant Marine during the war. It is unclear what shipboard department he worked in, or how long he sailed.[3]

Career and reputation

Teutul with Brazilian President Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva and First Lady Marisa Letícia at the Palácio da Alvorada, Brasília.

Teutul originally started out owning Orange County Ironworks, a fabrication shop now solely owned and managed by son Daniel. He began building custom bikes for pleasure after being inspired by the many custom bikes appearing on the streets and in films.[4] In 1999 he left and co-founded Orange County Choppers with his son Paul Jr and began building bikes for sale.

He has built a reputation on American Chopper for being a hard-nosed businessman and having a short temper.[2] He is also particular about neatness, often yelling (at least in the earlier episodes of American Chopper) about the disorganization and cleanliness of the shop, and being described by Michael at one point as being "like Martha Stewart on a motorcycle."[2] Teutul has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

He has been featured in the music video for Nickelback's "Rockstar", and also in the television programs Long Way Round starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman and on King of The Hill in Season 10, Episode 10 titled Hank Fixes Everything. Along with his son Paul Jr., Teutul played a small role in the 2007 film Wild Hogs. As part of the agreement with the My Name Is Earl bike, they were also featured on an episode of the show. In a 2008 episode, they can be seen fighting in a makeshift bike shop as Earl steals a bike parked outside.

Teutul was a contestant on the Celebrity Apprentice 5 until he was fired by Donald Trump on April 15's episode.

Legal issues

Teutul and OCC have been the defendants of a number of legal actions. They include claims from former employees, including Cody Connelly for a bike he was apparently given on the show but never got to keep, as well as unauthorized use of his name and likeness.[5]

A lawsuit in 2007 alleging fraud, brought on behalf of Turner Construction (Teutul, Paul Jr and Daniel are named in the petition).[6] This dates back to 2003 and a ruling in favor of Turner in 2005 [7] concerning the original OC Iron Works company. It is alleged that assets were stripped from OC Ironworks, transferring the viable assets, contracts and personnel to a new company OC Ironworks LLC, before bankrupting the former. OC Ironworks LLC is owned entirely by Daniel Teutul (a third son). This involved transferring the ownership to Paul Jr and selling the assets with unfair compensation to the new company. Trustee Tom Genova filed complaint with Bankruptcy Court and sought to have the transfers from the old company to the new company judged fraudulent and set aside. He also sought to make the new company liable for the old company's debts. A settlement was reached between Orange County Ironworks LLC and Tom Genova with Orange County Ironworks LLC agreeing to pay out $500,000.[8]

On March 18, 2011, the Times Herald-Record reported that Orange County Choppers was considering abandoning the OCC world headquarters (in foreclosure), located in Newburgh, New York, and constructing a new 25,000 sq ft (2,300 m2) building adjacent to the current facility on behalf of a company referred to as G&M Orange LLC, which lists Teutul as its owner.[9]

In 2011 records of Paul receiving illegal prescriptions from a since closed Florida anti-aging clinic for human growth hormone and other assorted steroids between the years 2003 and 2006.[10]


In addition to Paul Teutul, Jr. and Michael Teutul, he also has another son, Daniel, who is the general manager and owner of Orange County Ironworks, and a daughter, Cristin. Daniel was seen on American Chopper building the new headquarters building. Teutul is divorced from his first wife Paula and married his second wife, Beth Dillon, in July 2007. Beth has two sons of her own from her previous marriage: Burton Dillon III and Brent Dillon, aged 35 and 33 respectively.[11][12] Paul's regular arguments with his sons became a routine occurrence during episodes of American Chopper. These vocal disagreements eventually led to Paul Jr. being fired in April 2009. Paul Jr. has since started a design business called Paul Jr. Designs.[11]


A significant part of Teutul's image are his numerous tattoos. He has been known to acquire tattoos from time to time in order to express a feeling or to make a point. For example when he became frustrated about the location of OCC being frequently confused with Orange County in California, he obtained a tattoo on his left arm with the designation OCC New York in order to make the distinction clear.[2] This tattoo session was taped and was shown as part of an episode of American Chopper. Another example is the tattoo he received from Ami James, renowned tattoo artist from the shop (and fellow TLC show) Miami Ink, a portrait piece of his pet bullmastiff, Marty, to go along with an earlier portrait of his older bullmastiff, Gus (Gussy) whose full name is August, which was done by another tattoo artist.[2][13]


  1. ^ "Orange County Choppers Kicks Off CMT Bike Week With 2-Hour Special Sunday". Pilgrim Studios, Inc. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e American Chopper on Discovery Channel
  3. ^
  4. ^ Paul Teutul Sr from
  5. ^ Leonard, Barbara. Actor Claims 'American Chopper' Owes Him,Courthouse News Service, July 15, 2009. Retrieved on September 11, 2011.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b Fralic, Shelley (June 29, 2009). "American Chopper's junior partner decides to fly solo". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  11. ^ "Choppers' Teutul rides into matrimony". Times Herald-Record. July 31, 2007. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  12. ^ Miami Ink

External links

  • Official website
  • Discovery Channel's American Chopper
  • Paul Teutul, Sr. at the Internet Movie Database
  • Paul Teutul, Sr. Profile on Country Music Television
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