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What You Didn't Know About Hobo Jack On American Pickers

Each episode of History's "American Pickers" normally features a new person trying to thin out a big collection. While most episodes will include a few tidbits of information about the seller, the show spends most of its time explaining the history of the team's newly discovered treasures rather than the original owners of the items. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Occasionally, series stars Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz decide they want a second go at looking for gold in one particular picking spot, and we get an opportunity to learn more about the seller beyond their asking price.

One of these repeat locations involves the Litchfield, Illinois property of a man known by the name Hobo Jack. Jack, whose real name is actually Jack Sophir, has made appearances in two episodes of "American Pickers." Viewers were first introduced to Hobo Jack in Season 2, Episode 9, and were reintroduced to him in Season 6, Episode 2 (via IMDb). However, there is more to the man than his stockpile of antiques and peculiar nickname.

According to a YouTube video of Wolfe speaking to a crowd in the pickers' Antique Archaeology store in Nashville, people like Hobo Jack were Wolfe's source of inspiration when he first pitched "American Pickers" to History. At the end of that same speech, Wolfe refers to Sophir as "the true American treasure."

Hobo Jack is an author and a musician

It may surprise fans of "American Pickers" to know that Hobo Jack is a published author. Jack Sophir (who chose to use his real name on the cover) is the author of "Amazing Adventures of The Tramp Prince," a 2015 book about "a young man's journey to find a new home for his family after they lose their farm" (per Amazon). The description also states that the book "contains very controversial opinions about health, animal rights, human rights, government and injustice." While the description notes that the book is "eloquent and cute," it also calls it a "serious picaresque novel filled with Socratic dialogue." 

In a 2015 interview with The Telegraph, Sophir revealed his plans to release at least two more books about the character, but neither of these sequels are available on Amazon at this time. Sophir also authored a 1984 novel called "Get a Horse: A Unique Collection of Early Automotive Humor from Turn of the Century Magazines" and a 2008 fantasy satire novel (via Backwoods Hobo Jack).

Sophir's talents are not limited to the written word; he is also a recorded musician and talented instrumentalist. During Wolfe's previously mentioned visit to the Antique Archaeology store, Sophir sang for the crowd and played the banjo, harmonica, and guitar. His album, titled "The Best of Hobo Jack: Original Songs By An American Picker," is also available for purchase on Amazon Music.