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Earl Cole

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Earl Cole
S14 Earl Cole
Contestant Profile
Birth Date April 9, 1971 (1971-04-09) (age 45)
Hometown Santa Monica, California
Occupation Ad Executive


Tribe(s) Ravu
► Moto
Bula Bula
Placement Winner
Alliance(s) Syndicate Alliance
Challenge(s) Won 6
Vote(s) Against 1
Day(s) Lasted 39

Earl Cole is the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Fiji.

Despite being on the winless Ravu and living in destitute compared to the rival Moto tribe, Earl made a lasting alliance, most notably with Yau-Man Chan. His charisma, likability and natural leadership skills, earned him the title of Sole Survivor, as he became the first person to win the jury vote unanimously and the second African-American to win Survivor.


Retrieved from

Earl attended business school at the University of Washington in Seattle and received a National Scholastic Achievement Award before moving to Southern California. He is currently a Senior Advertising Executive who creates and manages new media strategies, brand marketing and advertising budgets for major accounts. He formerly worked as a marketing manager at a cable company, a sales analyst for a film company and a writer's assistant for a television comedy series.

In addition, Cole also works as a composer and is an accomplished musician. He plays multiple instruments (piano, saxophone, guitar, violin… and a little bit of drums). He also enjoys playing chess, hiking, watching movies, billiards and playing basketball. He considers himself to be very intelligent, creative, athletic and confident, with a witty sense of humor. He is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Earl currently resides in Santa Monica, California. His birth date is April 9, 1971.[1]

Survivor: Fiji

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Voting History

Earl's Voting History
Episode Earl's
Voted Against
1 Jessica -
2 On Exile Island1
3 Sylvia Rita
4 Ravu Tribe Immune
5 Rita -
6 Moto Tribe Immune
7 Moto Tribe Immune
8 Moto Tribe Immune
9 Ineligible
10 Edgardo -
11 Alex -
12 Alex -
13 Stacy -
14 Boo -2
Yau-Man -
Jury Votes
for Earl
Alex, Boo, Edgardo, Lisi, Michelle,
Mookie, Rocky, Stacy, Yau-Man
Sole Survivor, Day 39

^1 In Snakes Are Misunderstood... We Have an Understanding Now, Moto sent Earl to Exile Island, granting him immunity from Ravu's Tribal Council.
^2 In You've Got That Puzzled Look, Earl used a Hidden Immunity Idol, but did not negate any votes against him.


  • Cole had an endowment with the University of Kansas Medical Center, where he established the Earl Cole Fund, which is a charitable foundation for children with Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, a hip bone disease Cole suffered from as a child.
  • In Summer of 2009, Earl, along with the other first eighteen Survivor winners, appeared on a TVGuide special "Survivor Millionaires: Where Are They Now?"[2]
  • On January 9, 2010, Earl attended Survivor's 10-year anniversary party.
  • In May 29, 2010, Earl married his fiancee, Los Angeles-based pharmacist, Shelley Lee.[3]


  • Earl never saw Survivor and hardly knew what it was when he got recruited to be on Survivor: Fiji. In fact, he was recruited two days prior to filming.
  • Earl holds the record for the latest discovery of a Hidden Immunity Idol, finding one on Day 36.
  • Earl is the second player to play a Hidden Immunity Idol when it was not necessary, following Alex Angarita, who had done so earlier in the season.
  • Earl is the first person to win a unanimous jury vote, and the first person to receive more than six jury votes.
  • He is the only winner to win in a unanimous jury vote and receive at least one vote counted against them, receiving a vote from Rita. At the Fiji reunion show, Jeff Probst mistakenly stated that Earl never received a vote.
  • Earl is the first African-American male to win the title of Sole Survivor.
    • Coincidentally, the second to do so (Jeremy Collins) also won in a unanimous jury vote.
  • Earl was asked to compete on The Amazing Race with his eventual wife, Shelley. However, Shelley didn't want to compete.[4]


Preceded by
Cook Islands
S13 yul t
Yul Kwon
Sole Survivor Titleholder
S14 earl t
Earl Cole
Succeeded by
S15 todd t
Todd Herzog

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