Who is Preston James Roberts?
Preston James Roberts was born on 17 July 1957, in Westfield, New Jersey, USA, and was an educator as well as a reality television personality, best known for gaining fame through the reality show “Mountain Men”, in which he served as the right-hand man of fellow star Eustace Conway in their preservation of Turtle Island. He passed away in 2017.
The Wealth of Preston James Roberts
As of early-2020, Preston James Roberts has a net worth estimated to be over $2.5 million, earned through success in his numerous endeavors.
R.I.P. Preston 7/24/2017Preston James Roberts, 60, of Hays died from complications related to an inoperable liver…
He earned significantly from his work as an educator, reaching high positions in the academe. He also gained a significant amount of wealth from his television appearances.
Life and Career
Preston James began his career in teaching, working in the Wilkes County school district in Georgia. He served various communities in his over 25-year career as an educator, moving to schools in Washington, Rayle, and Tignall. In 1982, he met and befriended Eustace Conway during a horse riding trip that brought the duo to North and South Carolina.
The two became close friends and would eventually work on several projects together.
He received a lot of praise for his diligence in teaching, especially when it came to art and expressing creativity. Over the years, he became skilled at many trades, with many labeling him a jack-of-all-trades – he knew how to hunt, fish, and even made knives. He was often the quiet one in the group, though he would become an educator of the Turtle Island Preserve, serving on the board of directors with his close friend.
Turtle Island Preserve and Mountain Men
Roberts came to know about the Turtle Island Preserve through Eustace Conway who first settled on the land before later claiming ownership over it. The preserve spans 1,000 acres and is located in Boone, North Carolina. The place grew to fame due to it being featured in the show “Mountain Men” which showcased the duo doing chores around the reserve, and preparing food to last the winter. The reserve has been under scrutiny several times, with its biggest being due to violation of building codes which led to it shutting down temporarily.
It was later given an exemption from building code, as the structures were primitive and things eventually resumed commune with nature.
Though he wasn’t one of the main cast members, Preston also became one of the fan favorites of the reality television show “Mountain Men”, which began airing on the History Channel in 2012. He was a part of the show for most of its run, becoming one of the more prominent characters when the show focused on Eustace Conway in North Carolina.
The two are shown learning from each other, using ancient techniques and traditional survival skills which they pass on to others.
Passing and Legacy
In 2017, Preston James was diagnosed with cancer and tests revealed that he had a tumor on his liver which was inoperable. He looked for other means to treat the disease, but the tumor showed a very aggressive growth and was soon obstructing blood and oxygen. He passed away from a complication of the disease just three weeks after the diagnosis.
With news of his death, many were surprised, and the Turtle Island Preserve issued a public statement about him. According to the preserve, instead of spending his last few days at the hospital, he spent it with close family and friends. Eustace also expressed his grief at his close friend’s death, calling the feeling of loss as indescribable. The show “Mountain Men” also expressed their sympathies, while many fans of the show and the stars expressed their sadness over losing one of its beloved personalities.
— Monsters and Critics (@monstersandcrit) July 27, 2017
A year after his death, the production company behind the creation of “Mountain Men” started a scholarship in his name, to help support students in Wilkes County. It was a great honor for his family as many knew that he spent a good portion of his life educating and helping youths in his area.
Preston James was married to Kathleen, and left behind three children – his entire family has been featured in “Mountain Men” on several occasions.
He is buried at the Morning Watch Hill Cemetery located in Boone, North Carolina.
Throughout his life, he was a lover of nature and spent a lot of his free time exploring national forests and parks. One of his early destinations was the Pisgah National Forest which helped develop his interest in the environment further. Before his death, he also went on speaking engagements, talking about life in the wilderness, surviving, and preserving nature, and stressing the importance of proper education.