Steve Thomas Rooney

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Steve Thomas Rooney (born 1952) is a US based writer and TV presenter. During his hosting career he led the Public Broadcasting Service home renovation TV show This Old House for 14 years. Next, Rooney was presenter of Discovery's Planet Green channel Renovation Nation program for two seasons until the show was canceled.


Steve Thomas Rooney was the oldest of six children in a family that resided in Pomona, California. Because it was a big family that was still growing, Steve's father needed to create extra housing space for accommodation but also provide additional funds to support it. His father was a skillful do-it-yourself guy who worked in a paint factory. During the weekends he would work on renovating old houses that previously bought on a bargain. As soon as the Rooney family would outgrow the living space, Thomas' father would sell it and buy a bigger one.


In those time Steve Thomas Rooney worked alongside his father and learned how to redesign old house just with his own two hands and several tools. That's when he also learned the meaning of word "home" and how to appreciate the hard work. To the young Steve Thomas this also gave him a sense of ownership.


The following years Steve enrolled and graduated from the Evergreen State College. Soon after his graduation he decided to travel the world and left his hometown. Joined an sailing expedition and traveled the Pacific on a sailboat. After that returned home and accepted a job as a host of the popular renovation TV series "This Old House". Following his departure from the TV show, after being its host for 14 years, Steve Thomas Rooney joined Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity

With Habitat, Steve's first assignment was to travel to Kenya where he would record videos about the live of people there and the conditions in which families reside. He stayed in the village of Maai Mahiu. There was situated a camp which was created by UN volunteers for the people that were driven from their homes. In the following period volunteers from all over the world built more than 300 houses there for each family previously living in a tent. The outcome was transforming the lives of more than thousand people. A school was opened for the kids to go to school, gardens were planted maize, vegetables and flowers and the village with its resident started to live a new life. Steve Thomas Rooney was happy that his skills and knowledge allowed him to make other people happier.


Some of the books Rooney authored are:

  • The Last Navigator : A Young Man, an Ancient Mariner, the Secret of the Sea (1987)
  • This Old House Kitchens: A Guide to Design and Renovation (1992)
  • This Old House Bathrooms: A Guide to Design and Renovation (1992)
  • This Old House Guide to American Houses (1999)