YouTube has produced a lot of young celebrities in modern times and Connor Franta happens to be one of them. Apart from being a YouTuber, the young American is also an entrepreneur, entertainer, and writer. His journey to fame began almost a decade ago when he started a self-named YouTube channel where he uploads content ranging from lifestyle vlogs to comedy skits and inspiration films every Monday.
Presently, he has more than 425.4 million views on his channel and well over 5.5 million subscribers. This makes his channel the 158th most subscribed Youtube channel in the world.
Who Is Connor Franta?
Born as Connor Joel Franta on September 12, 1992, in Wisconsin, U.S, the youngster is the third of Peter and Cheryl Franta’s four children. His father is a physician while his mother is a homemaker and he has two older siblings – Dustin (brother) and Nicola (sister)- and a younger brother named Brandon. Not too long after Connor was born, his family relocated to Minnesota where he and his siblings were all raised in the Roman Catholic faith.
He started his elementary education at St. Peter’s Catholic School, Hokah, Minnesota, and continued there until his eighth grade. Because he was overweight as a child, his mother signed him up for the swimming team of Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).
He graduated from La Crescent High School in 2011 and was part of the school’s cross country team while there. Moving forward, Connor enrolled in the Roman Catholic College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (Collegeville, Minnesota) where he studied Business. During his second year in the institution, he included Arts minor, with an emphasis on Films.
On April 24, 2010, Connor Franta created his YouTube channel and uploaded his very first video in August 2010. Two years after, he joined a collaboration channel named “Our2ndLife” (or O2L for short) alongside 5 other YouTube personalities (Kian Lawley, Trevor Moran, Justin “JC” Caylen, Ricky Dillon and Sam Pottorff). This collaboration exposed him to Youtube and helped him gain popularity. However, in July 2014, Connor announced his exit from the group, citing personal issues.
In 2014 and 2015, his content was among the most popular videos on Youtube and as a result, he made cameo appearances on the website’s YouTube Rewind videos. He was also nominated in 2014 for a Teen Choice Award in the “Web Star: Male” category but lost to Tyler Oakley.
The following year, Connor Franta also made it to the nomination list of Teen Choice Award in the “Entertainer of the Year” and “Choice YouTuber” categories but again, he lost to Cameron Dallas and Bethany Mota respectively. He was also nominated for Streamy Award for “Audience Choice Entertainer of the Year”. 2015 also had the young man featured as a celebrity at StreamCon which held in New York City.
After losing three Choice Awards to other contenders in 2014/15, Connor Franta finally grabbed the award for “Favorite YouTube Star” in January 2016. In October of the same year, he attended the “We Day” Conference which took place in Toronto, Canada.
He is a published author
Connor Franta released his first book titled A Work in Progress on April 21, 2015. It was a memoir in which he shared moments from his life since he was born and personal stories. The book was a success as it was among The New York Times Bestseller list for 16 weeks and also sold 200,000 copies.
On April 18, 2017, his second book, Note to Self, was released. While the first one was a reflection of his external life so far, the second was a reflection of his internal life, featuring essays, poetry, photography, and stories by the young talent about issues of clinical depression, social anxiety, breakups, and self-love.
Connor is among the celebrities who use their popularity to make life better for others. In 2014, he marked his 22nd birthday by launching a fundraising campaign to build water wells for people in Swaziland. The project was carried out by the Thirst Project, a non-profit organization which aims at providing safe drinking water to communities all over the world where it is not readily available.
In a bid to raise the targeted amount of $120,000 within a period of one month, Connor Franta offered his fans T-shirts, posters, an acknowledgement in one of his videos and a Skype call with him. Amazingly, US$75,000 was raised within 48 hours and in 10 days, the initial $120,000 target was achieved. By the time one month elapsed, the campaign had gathered more than $230,000.
Subsequently, he visited the recipient-country to see for himself, the water wells that were built with the donations. At the Thirst Project’s 6th Annual Thirst Gala on June 30, 2015, Connor was awarded for his contribution.
For his 23rd birthday, Franta launched another campaign, aiming at raising $180,000 in 30 days, however, he ended up raising over $191,000 dollars, which was also used to build an additional 16 water wells in Swaziland.
He has other streams of income
Connor Franta started his own line of coffee named Common Culture Coffee, in February 2015. $1 from each bag of the coffee which is produced in collaboration with LA Coffee Club, goes to The Thirst Project. In June of the same year, he collaborated with Junk Food Clothing and released a limited edition line of clothing. In January 2016, he launched his new website for Common Culture.
On December 8, 2014, Connor came out as gay in a six-minute-long YouTube video titled Coming Out. In the video, he said he has accepted who he is and is “happy with that person”. He also talked about the help he got from others on the internet and hoped to give advice to people struggling with their sexuality. The video received more than 12 million views and over 949,000 likes, making it the most viewed video on Connor Franta’s channel by June 19, 2018.