Alex Debogorski is an American trucker and reality TV star, born on 4 August 1953, in Berwyn, Alberta Canada. He’s known for being one of the stars of “Ice Road Truckers”.
Alex was born the first of five children of Irene and Stanley Debogorski. Although both his parents were born in Poland, they met in England post- World War II. His mother studied music and math at Cambridge University, while his father served in the Free Polish Brigade as a paratrooper. After their wedding in London, the couple moved to a farm in Canada, were Alex was born.
There’s no information about Alex’s younger siblings, though it’s known he had to take care of them after his mother’s death when he was 12 years old.
His father worked two jobs at the same time, leaving his children alone for too periods: ‘Dad worked on the Railroad and he farmed so he really had no time for watching kids because he had to watch cows and pigs and make sure the Railroad kept working. So, I was in charge. He worked hard at finding a woman, but I don’t know how many women would want to come live in a shack out in the bush with no running water’.
Alex attended the University of Alberta, though he left it after a year and never graduated.
Trying to provide for himself, Alex Debogorski worked as a club bouncer, taxi driver and other part time jobs the first couple years after leaving college.
His journey wasn’t easy though, as he was inexperienced in every field: ‘People say it’s hard to get a job now and that it was so easy to get a job then. Well, it was never easy for a kid that doesn’t know anything to get a job.’
Alex was working in a tire shop when someone looking for drivers entered the store. Although Alex had no experience at driving trucks, he offered himself for the job. He was contracted immediately, and worked as a coal mine driver for four years. In 1976 Alex moved to Yellowknife in Northwestern Canada, working as a driver until he was able to purchase his own truck in 1980.
Debogorski has talked about the importance of knowing mechanics for truck drivers, even though companies don’t necessarily require drivers to know these topics as they normally provide experts to fix trucks: ‘When I’m in remote areas, being able to fix stuff has come in handy for myself, as well as for others who I’m able to help out. Of course, the electronification of our equipment has made it difficult for even real mechanics to fix some things on our newer trucks. But the more one knows about his or her job, the better the job can be understood.’
Besides knowing how to fix their cars, Alex says a truck driver should have many skills, such as managing situations of stress and pressure, map reading, first aid, human relations and even accounting.
His four decades of experience have not only brought him knowledge in all of these fields, but also at some point it led him to leave normal roads for ice covered ones, which are deemed as very dangerous and require a level of expertise difficult to obtain for normal drivers, especially rookies.
Ice Road Truckers
Premiered on 17 June 2007, “Ice Road Truckers” is History Channel’s documentary reality series focused on various truck drivers, who risk their lives travelling over ice-covered ‘roads’ to bring food and other essential supplies to insolated areas of Canada and Alaska.
Alex Debogorski was initially contacted to participate in the show by a film crew, which had heard about his work ethic and charismatic personality through locals of the Canadian Northwestern Area.
Alex accepted, and is one of the only members of the cast who appeared in all of its seasons.
“Ice Road Truckers” had on average three million viewers per episode, becoming the network’s most watched show in a short time. It also received good reviews from critics, such as The New York Times’ Virginia Heffernan, who said: ‘Watching these guys … make their runs, it’s hard not to share in their cold, fatigue and horrible highway hypnosis, that existential recognition behind the wheel late at night that the pull of sleep and the pull of death are one and the same’.
Despite the show being reality TV, some of the scenes were edited to appear more dramatic and engaging to viewers.
Debogorski has declared that some scenes depict situations that didn’t exactly happen as shown: ‘Sometimes, I feel like they’ve shown me as a real ass. But that is reality! What can I say? I try not to worry about it. I’m not running for president or anything else. It’ll all come to an end one day and I’ll vanish into the dust of time’.
Alex also appeared in the series “Deadliest Roads”, showcasing the same cast of “Ice Road Truckers”, though centered on virtually impossible roads in countries of various continents such as Africa and South America.
Where is Ice Road Truckers Alex Debogorski today? Died?
Despite the huge popularity of “Ice Road Truckers”, the show was canceled in 2017 after 11 successful seasons. For his part, Alex Debogorski is alive and still works as an ice road trucker.
After the end of the series, he has keep himself active in social media especially on Facebook, on which he keeps his fans informed of his activities and work.
Most recently, in July 2020 he posted about his return to trucking: ‘I’m on the road again. On my way to Berwyn with my car carrier. I have an old 1929 tractor, a Canadian Ford (Mercury) pick up and one other. I’ll drop that trailer and hook up to my drop deck and carry on to Edmonton to pick up the siding for my shop. Back to Yellowknife unload and start putting my shop back together. The two weeks quarantine is not a problem, as I have so much work to do at both my yards I would not see anyone for weeks.’
In 1972 and while still attending college, Alex married Louise. The couple have welcomed 11 children in total, and are apparently still happily wed after five decades of marriage.
To date Alex and Louise are grandparents of 13 kids, though their goal is to have 90 grandchildren, as Alex revealed in an interview: ‘we have 13 grandchildren already and everybody [keeps busy working on more] so I wouldn’t be surprised if we get there. The bottom line is, life is short. So, I wonder, what are we doing this all for? I figure it’s children. Even though I don’t particularly like children because they’re the reason I’m broke!’
Alex’s son Andrew Deborgoski died in 2019, when he got caught in a fire that broke-out in his Yellowknife house. In 2017 Andrew had been diagnosed with ASL (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), a condition that made him unable to walk or sleep.
Despite his condition, Andrew could ‘speak’ through a machine connected as a cursor to his head. In the midst of the devastating event, Andrew warned his wife to save their kids first. Once outside of the house and with their children safe, his wife Myriam informed authorities Andrew was still inside the building. However, it was too late for him to be saved, and he was declared dead after being transported to Stanton Territorial Hospital.
The community raised funds to help Andrew’s family, collecting $26,000 in total and a huge amount of physical donations. Alex Debogorski shows himself very touched by the support received: ‘We’re in this together and a lot of people understand better than I do, they’ve suffered this numerous times’.
The ice roads, my home away from home! Hope you are all healthy and staying safe pic.twitter.com/e4IAm7Fre9
— Alex Debogorski (@IceRoadAlex) March 31, 2020
Alex Debogorski has a estimated net worth of close to $700,000, as a result of his work as a truck driver along with his earnings for appearing in “Ice Road Truckers”, and from an autobiographical book entitled “King of The Road: True Tales from a Legendary Ice Road Trucker”. published in 2010.
Alex is a man of white ethnicity, though there’s no information about his current weight and height.
Alex Debogorski is a devoted Catholic, and considers himself as a family-oriented man.
Although there’s no information about his current health, he has adopted a healthy lifestyle in recent years.
Despite his fame, Alex has shown a dignified attitude regarding his career: ‘You see trucks jack-knifed in the snow, and accidents that were probably unpreventable. There are plenty of better drivers out there than me, but I know enough to respect the weather and listen to the ice.’