A successful stage performer who made a tidy fortune making people laugh, Drew Carey had ironically suffered from bouts of depression in the past and attempted to commit suicide twice.
Drew Allison Carey was born on May 23, 1958 in Parma, Ohio with six toes on his right foot—an Oriental sign of the good fortune that awaits him at the end of a challenging and trying period. When Drew was eight years old, his father passed away triggering bouts of depression that was to last for several years and would be the underlying cause of his two suicide attempts. After graduating from James Ford Rhodes High School, he went to Kent State University but was expelled after three years for poor academic performance. In 1980, Drew Carey enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he served for several years. Then, relocating to Las Vegas, he supported himself working as a bank teller and a waiter.
In 1985, Drew Carey learned how to write jokes from books borrowed from the library upon the suggestion of a disc jockey friend. After winning an open-mic contest a year later, he became MC at the Cleveland Comedy Club and started performing in various comedy clubs, finally catching national attention when he competed in the 1988 Star Search. His star began to rise when he appeared in “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and “Late Night with David Letterman.” In 1994, he clinched the CableACE Award for Best Writing when he wrote his own stand-up comedy aired on “Showtime” entitled “Drew Carey: Human Cartoon.”
In the wake of his success in stand-up comedy career, Drew Carey began appearing in supporting and co-starring roles in films and TV sitcoms. Teaming up later with fellow writer Bruce Helford, they developed and produced “The Drew Carey Show” that premiered on September 13, 1995 on ABC. His earnings per episode grew from an amount of $60,000 in the initial seasons to $750,000 by the final season. By 2007, He began hosting game shows such as “The Power of Ten” and “The Price is Right” succeeding Bob Barker who had retired that same year.
While he is known as fiscally conservative, Drew Carey admits his libertarian leaning and had donated to Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in 2007. He credits his successful comedy career to the libraries where he borrowed books that taught him how to write jokes. That is why it is not surprising that his philanthropic cause would include libraries such as the Ohio Library Foundation and Cleveland Public Library, and other charities like the Mooch Myernick Memorial Fund and Lance Armstrong’s LiveStrong Foundation.