Who Is ‘Mysteries at the Museum’ Host Don Wildman?
Don Wildman may have one of the coolest jobs in the world. Since 2010, the 58-year-old host of Mysteries at the Museum on the Travel Channel has traveled across the U.S. to visit memorable museums and surprising stories about our nation’s history. Find out more about his favorite museums to visit, why he thinks everyone should travel, and what he’d be doing if he wasn’t hosting a TV show.
He’d probably be a teacher if he wasn’t working in TV
“My father was a teacher and a high school principal, and 3 of my 4 sisters are/have been professional teachers,” he said. “It’s in our
family gene pool to explain things. I like to think I’m doing this on
television — without giving quizzes.”
Mysteries at the
Museum premiered in 2010, and since then, Wildman has hosted 24 seasons of
the show, uncovering treasures everywhere from Chicago’s Field Museum of
Natural History to the Finney County Historical Museum in Garden City,
Originally, Wildman wanted to be an actor, but that didn’t quite pan out, he explained in a 2017 interview with Adweek. But a job hosting a show called Weird Travels lead him to discover he had a knack for talking about history and travel. He went on to host Men’s Journal on ESPN, Cities of the Underworld on History, and Filthy Cities for Discovery/BBC before landing his Mysteries at the Museum gig.
“I was super, super lucky that I fell into something I
really like to do,” he said. “I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”
Wildman’s favorite museum is the British Museum in London, he told Monsters and Critics. “I love all of those London museums because they’re free and you just walk right in and it’s like, here’s the whole world on a platter thanks to … the British Empire.”
Of course, when you visit as many museums as Wildman does,
picking just one favorite is hard. He also mentioned loving New York’s
Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cairo Museum. And in a post
for the Travel Channel, he included the Frick Museum in New York, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, and the Blaschka Glass Flowers exhibit at
He thinks people have a responsibility to travel
Unsurprisingly for a guy who spends his days crisscrossing the country in search of out-of-the-way tourist spots, Wildman is a big advocate of travel. And he doesn’t think people should do it just because it’s fun. He also think people have a responsibility to familiarize themselves with the broader world.
“I believe it’s not only a cherished right to travel the world,” he told Monsters and Criticis. “It’s somewhat of a responsibility and I hope that parents are encouraging their children to think of the world as their
own, not something to be turned away from.”
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