PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR - GENE SIMMONS
Gene Simmons was born in Haifa, Israel in 1949, and is the only child of his mother, a German Nazi Concentration Camp survivor. Having graduated State University (NYSU), and City University (CUNY) with a Bachelor of Education degree, Simmons taught sixth grade in Spanish Harlem in New York City, became the Assistant to the Director of the Puerto Rican Inter Agency Council, a government-funded research and demonstration project, and also worked at Glamour and Vogue.
Having founded the legendary rock band KISS 36 years ago, Gene Simmons and his band mates have broken box office records set by The Beatles and Elvis Presley and continue stronger than ever. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), KISS is America's number one gold record-winning group of all time.
Simmons is "happily unmarried" to his partner of 25 years, Shannon Tweed. Their children are Nick and Sophie, and together, the family has starred in A&E's Gene Simmons Family Jewels, the longest-running celebrity reality show of all time.
Gene Simmons Family Jewels emerged the winner in the docusoap category at the 2010 edition of the Factual Entertainment Awards. In recognition of Simmons' contribution to the show's longevity and indeed to the "celebrity" genre, realscreen and the Factual Entertainment Forum are thrilled to give Gene Simmons, perhaps the ultimate multi-hyphenate, our inaugural Personality of the Year award.