Doc Phineas is the man the History Channel calls "America's Favorite Professor, one of the best professors of history, antiquities, and archaeology in the world, and one of our best experts on TV today.” He was a child prodigy who could sing, tap dance, and play the piano by the age of five, was making regular appearances on the “Pinky Lee Show”, “Howdy Doody”, and other children's shows, and had read "The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” by the time he was in the third grade.
Doc was also an Eagle Scout selected to address Congress at the age of 14, was a representative to the World Youth Congress in Berne, Switzerland in his junior year of high school, and was on a high school debate team that won the National Championship for Persuasive Speaking. He received his B.A. (magna cum laude, with a 4.0 GPA, and designation as a President’s Scholar) from San Jose State University and then went on to spend nine years doing postgraduate study at the University of California, Berkeley, again with a GPA of 4.0. While at Berkeley, he was part of a joint field archaeology program with the University of Madras in India, where he participated in a number of archaeological digs.
His PhD in archaeological antiquities is from Shefferton University in the U.K. In addition, Doc is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Doc Phineas has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, San Jose State University, The New College of California, and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. While teaching at The New College, Doc proposed the idea of learning as entertainment and prepared a thesis on the subject, which included writing and scoring eighteen original songs for a Broadway style musical called “Magik Reality” that made learning fun, facts interesting, and history come alive. Fifty of his students were cast in the show and Doc directed, played the piano, and conducted the orchestra. “Magik Reality” was sold out for every performance, was filmed for KQED, and appeared on PBS.
These days, Doc has once again become a TV star, with regular appearances on shows like the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars”, CNBC’s “Jay Leno’s Garage”, and the Travel Channel’s “Mysteries at the Museum”. Doc says, “My TV shows are in 200 countries, dubbed in forty-eight languages, and now my classroom is the whole world.” While traveling in France last year, Doc was recognized everywhere he went, as “Pawn Stars” is on TV several times a day in that country.
Doc states, "I have taught, over the last 45 years, every level of student from kindergarten through university graduate students, which I think gives me a very unique perspective. By the time students come to me in college, I can see what they missed in their formative years. If you are not an entertaining teacher today, students will text and go to social media in class. They have the world at their fingertips on their phones, so they often do not pay attention to learning.
I have tried to use my skills as an entertainer to make education exciting and fun, with a deep involvement of my subjects so they would not dare text in my class because they will miss the show!” Doc truly has had a dual career as a professor and as an entertainer. He says, “As a professor over the last 45 years I have literally taught thousands of students. I also appear on TV, in movies, and on the stage, and I also teach archaeology and climb through ruins like the real Indiana Jones.
My two careers are interwoven, and as Shakespeare so aptly put it, ‘All the world's a stage and all the men are merely players,’ so I have tried to use all my skills, even in song and dance, to teach my students, to help them learn, to make their lives wonderful and rich with knowledge so that they will never forget the story of our world and they will hunger for knowledge all of their lives”.
Doc Phineas is currently a huge international TV star appearing worldwide as a regular on several different TV shows. In addition, he has been a clothing designer, interior decorator, and model. He has been featured in 40 movies and has made over 300 TV appearances in 60 years of show business.
He is very well-known in the steampunk sphere, both in this country and all over the world. Doc appears at many steampunk conventions every year and is a very active participant in the Las Vegas steampunk community, dressing in steampunk clothing every day! In addition, he’s an official spokesperson for living the healthy senior lifestyle. He even has fan clubs literally all over the world. Now he’s embarking upon a new venture, a TV show for PBS. He states that it’s “with great joy that I look forward to this wonderful show!”