Paul "Bear" Vasquez grew up in East Los Angeles, worked as a firefighter, and in 1985, moved to Mariposa, California, just outside of Yosemite State Park. In time, he bought an eight-acre plot, reportedly grew cannabis, married, had a son and a daughter, divorced, and became a truck driver.
He put on weight working as a truck driver and did combat sports training as a form of weight loss. As an incentive, in 2005 he took an MMA fight, taking “Hungry Bear” as his ring name.
The fight didn’t go his way, and an image from it was subject to good-natured romoshopping. If you were into MMA then, you saw the pic.
But that recognition was as nothing compared to what happened when in 2010 Vasquez posted a video of a double rainbow, with his voice, in awe, narrating what he saw and felt as he walked around his yard.
The video has 47,000,000 views. Months later the Gregory?Brothers turned Vasquez’s ecstatic words into a song, and that one has 40,000,000 views, and multiple covers.
Vasquez appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Tosh.0, hung out with Snoop Dogg, and appeared in ads for Delta Air Lines, Vodafone New Zealand, Microsoft, and Smartwater with Jennifer Aniston, and his double rainbow video opens the 2013 movie We're the Millers. The burly Paul Vasquez had become a folk hero.