Although he was born in Detroit, Rupert Boneham moved with his parents to Indiana when he was still very young. As a young man, he moved to Texas to study nursing at Cisco Junior College and San Angelo University. After working several odd jobs, including grave digging and bartending, Rupert began his life's work as a mentor for troubled teens in Indianapolis, Indiana.
His life proceeded uneventfully with his wife, Laura, and their daughter, Raya, when he made his application video for the seventh season of Survivor. Then his life change dramatically. He was accepted as one of the 16 finalists to compete for the $1,000,000 prize on the highly rated CBS show. After the very first episode aired, Rupert gained everyone's attention when he took advantage of the opposing team's mistake and stole their shoes which they had left in their raft. By the second episode, he had taken to wearing an improvised skirt in place of his waterlogged jeans. With that, he was on his way to becoming the most popular Survivor contestant of all time.
Although he was voted out on day 19 of Survivor: Pearl Islands, his fan appeal was more than enough to convince the producers of the show to invite him to compete in the next installation of the show, Survivor: All Stars. He was more successful this time around, but the title of "Sole Survivor" eventually went to Amber Brkich. During the finale for the All-Stars season, in a twist that seemed tailor made for Rupert, the home audience was allowed to call in to vote for their favorite castaway. The winner would receive a secondary $1,000,000 prize. With little surprise and 80% of the vote (the other 20% being distributed amongst the other 15 contestants), Rupert was awarded the secondary million dollars.
With his Survivor adventures behind him, Rupert used his newfound popularity and fame to promote his outreach program, Rupert's Kids. The goals of this foundation is to provide mentoring to troubled youths, housing assistance for people in need and to train volunteers to organize community events.
In his free time, he enjoys scuba diving, camping and coin collecting. He still uses his recognizability to bring attention to "Rupert's Kids" and makes appearances at events throughout the Midwest. He has even made a few television appearances on show like Half & Half and Yes, Dear.