Gene Simmons was born as Chaim Witz on August 25,1949, at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel, to Jewish immigrants from Hungary.
63 Facts About Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons's mother, Florence Klein, was born in Jand and survived internment in Nazi concentration camps.
Gene Simmons' father, Ferenc "Feri" Yehiel Witz, was a carpenter.
Gene Simmons spent his early childhood in Tirat Carmel and was raised in a practicing Jewish household.
Gene Simmons has said that his family was "dirt poor", scraping by on rationed bread and milk.
Gene Simmons's father remained in Israel, where he has another son and three daughters.
Gene Simmons later attended Richmond College and Sullivan County Community College, both in New York, and chose a stage name in tribute to the rockabilly singer Jumpin' Gene Simmons.
Gene Simmons practiced playing his guitar for hours on end.
Gene Simmons became involved with his first band, Lynx, then renamed the Missing Links, when he was a teenager.
Gene Simmons attended Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, New York.
Gene Simmons joined a new band, Bullfrog Bheer, and the band recorded a demo, "Leeta"; this was later included on the Kiss box set.
Gene Simmons formed the rock band Wicked Lester in the early 1970s with Stanley Eisen and recorded one album, which was never released.
Stanley took on the role of lead performer on stage, while Gene Simmons became the driving force behind what became an extensive Kiss merchandising franchise.
In 1989, Gene Simmons managed the recording side of Liza Minnelli's entry into mainstream pop.
Gene Simmons has his own magazine, Gene Simmons Tongue Magazine, his own label, Simmons Records, and animated series, My Dad the Rock Star.
In 1985, Gene Simmons appeared on the TV series Miami Vice in an episode titled "The Prodigal Son".
Gene Simmons appeared as a psychic working at the Mystic Journey Bookstore in Venice, California on the American hidden camera prank TV series I Get That a Lot.
Gene Simmons guest-starred as himself in the 2014 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode Long Road Home.
In March 2015, Gene Simmons founded the film production company Erebus Pictures and announced as the first project the Horror-thriller film Armed Response.
In 2022, Gene Simmons became a judge of the talent competition show Yoshiki Superstar Project X, airing on Hulu Japan and produced by Japanese musician and composer Yoshiki.
Gene Simmons plays bass, and lead vocals are split between Gene Simmons and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley in most Kiss songs.
Some publications reported that his tongue measured up to 7 inches long and he had it insured for $1 million, although Gene Simmons himself has neither confirmed nor denied this.
Gene Simmons is a science fiction and comic book fan and published several science-fiction fanzines, among them Id, Cosmos, Tinderbox, Sci-Fi Showcase, Mantis and Adventure.
Gene Simmons contributed to other fanzines, among them BeABohema and Sirruish.
Gene Simmons often joked that he and Tweed were "happily unmarried" for over 20 years.
Gene Simmons often paraphrased Groucho Marx, saying "Marriage is an institution, and I don't want to live in an institution".
Gene Simmons formerly had live-in relationships with Cher and Diana Ross, revealing that he fell in love with Ross while dating Cher.
Gene Simmons can speak Hungarian, German, English, Hebrew, and some Japanese.
Gene Simmons has boasted many times about having bedded thousands of women.
Gene Simmons has always been open about his disdain for drug and alcohol use, and has proudly claimed many times over "I've never been high or drunk in my life".
Gene Simmons described the trip as a "life changing experience".
Gene Simmons announced he has plans to take Kiss to Israel.
Gene Simmons has said that he is an ardent supporter of Israel.
Gene Simmons is alive and I am alive because of America.
In 2010, Gene Simmons said he regretted voting for Barack Obama and criticized the 2009 health care reforms.
Gene Simmons traveled to Zambia during his Gene Simmons Family Jewels show to visit several of his sponsored children, of whom he has more than 140.
Gene Simmons said that the trip "[was] a stark reminder that life doesn't treat everyone the same".
Gene Simmons's family received the MEND Humanitarian Award for their philanthropic efforts and support for Mending Kids International at the organization's annual gala on November 9,2013.
Gene Simmons recalled his mother's excitement when they received a CARE box one day.
Gene Simmons helped found "The Children Matter", which is a collaborative initiative with the charity MATTER that fights to get kids around the world access to health care.
Gene Simmons is an advocate for public safety during the coronavirus pandemic, encouraging people to wear face masks and following social distance protocols.
At the time, Gene Simmons refused to grant permission to NPR to make the interview available online.
In 2004, during an interview in Melbourne, Australia, while talking about Islamic extremists, Gene Simmons described Islam as a "vile culture", saying that Muslim women had to walk behind their husbands and were not allowed to be educated or to own houses.
Gene Simmons later clarified his comments on his website, saying he had been talking specifically about Muslim extremists.
In 2005, Gene Simmons was sued by a former girlfriend, Georgeann Walsh Ward, who said she had been "defamed" in the VH1 documentary When Kiss Ruled the World and portrayed as an "unchaste woman".
In 2007, Gene Simmons openly spoke out against music piracy, and called for file-sharers to be sued.
In 2010, Anonymous staged a DDoS on his website, prompting Gene Simmons to hit back with provocative comments once he was back online, at which point Anonymous staged a second DDoS, taking Gene Simmons's site down again.
Gene Simmons later clarified his comments and apologized for the incident.
Gene Simmons later issued a statement saying that he has "a tremendous amount of respect" for the company's workers and apologized for "unintentionally offending" any staff members during his visit.
In 2012, Gene Simmons was awarded the Golden God award by the Revolver magazine.
Gene Simmons is an honorary board member of Little Kids Rock, a national nonprofit that works to restore and revitalize music education in disadvantaged US public schools.
Gene Simmons decorated a guitar for auction with his son Nick.
On December 15,2014, Gene Simmons was awarded the Golden Medal by the Reial Cercle Artistic de Barcelona.
Gene Simmons is a playable character in Tony Hawk's Underground, unlocked when completing the story mode on Normal difficulty, and appears with his Kiss bandmates in the Hotter Than Hell level to play one of three songs upon collecting the four K-I-S-S letters.
Gene Simmons's Kiss character, the Demon, is a playable character in Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child.
Gene Simmons has a large role in the 2010 music video game Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.
Gene Simmons produced a Van Halen demo tape and attempted to find a record deal for the band with a variety of major record labels.
From 2006 to 2008, Gene Simmons served in a marketing and publicity role with the Indy Racing League.
In 2012, Gene Simmons headlined the Rock N Roll All Stars tour which performed in stadiums across South America.
Gene Simmons was in attendance and the entire news conference and subsequent tour was featured on Gene Simmons Family Jewels' series finale episodes.
In 2017, Gene Simmons launched "The Vault" which is a compilation of all of his major works selling for $2,000.
In 2018, Gene Simmons was named "Chief Evangelist Officer" of the Canadian cannabis company Invictus MD Strategies.