Who is George Shea, Major League Eating founder and hotdog competition MC?

Amber Peake July 2, 2021
Who is George Shea, Major League Eating founder and hotdog competition MC?
Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images


The annual Fourth of July competitive eating competition is set to return to our screens this Independence Day weekend. As the event approaches, some are curious to know more about its host, Major League Eating‘s George Shea.

Who is George Shea?

George Shea is best known as the host or master of ceremonies of Nathan’s Famous 4th of July International Hotdog Eating Contest.

Shea took over the event in 1991 and over the years has guided the competition to success as it is now streamed live on ESPN to millions each year.

He opened up on why he chose to take over the contest while talking to Time in 2018. He told the publication: “You know what was in my mind?

“I thought it was funny and absurd, and I love things that are absurd. So we always treated it as a sport, called it a sport, called them athletes.”

Elsewhere, George Shea is also a Major League Eating founder alongside his brother Richard. The brothers set up the organisation in 1997 and have held competitions in many locations around the world.

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Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images

George Shea age and net worth explored

While talking to The New Yorker is 2016, George Shea revealed he was 51 years old. This would mean the eating contest host would currently be 56.

Shea’s net worth is unknown, although Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, who has competed in Nathan’s Famous International Hotdog Eating Contest over the years, is reported to have a net worth in the millions.

Whatever his worth, Shea could have done well for founding Major League Eating as well as hosting the famous 4th of July hotdog eating contest.

Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images
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Shea announces return of hotdog competition on social media

Amid the pandemic last year, the competition continued but without a live audience and indoors due to social distancing restrictions. This year, Shea announced the contest would return in its usual form.

In a post to his followers on Instagram, he wrote: “Nathan’s July 4 Contest returns for live audience in 2021.”

Fans of the annual 4th of July competition have taken to Twitter as they get excited:


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Amber is a freelance writer on The Focus who mainly covers anything celeb, music, and entertainment related. Having graduated with a BA (Hons) in Journalism from Brunel University in 2020, she has spent the last two years reporting the latest celeb news and pop culture trends across leading and national publishers. Starting her career at Express.co.uk as a showbiz reporter, Amber began contributing on The Focus in 2021. As well as her work on the site, she has also written across other GRV Media publications, including both Reality Titbit and HITC. When she's not scrolling endlessly on TikTok, you'll find Amber wrapped up in yet another DIY crafting project.