Paul Vasquez Dead, The Man Behind Famous ‘Double Rainbow’ Video Dies At Age 57

A double rainbow photographed in San Diego
Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

Paul Vasquez — a resident of Mariposa, California, who reached viral stardom with his 2010 video of a double rainbow filmed near Yosemite National Park — has died at age 57, The Modesto Bee reports.

The cause of death has yet to be determined. A Facebook profile ostensibly belonging to Vasquez had recently shared a message about feeling unwell and receiving a COVID-19 test, though the message also indicated doubt as to his illness stemming from the coronavirus. No information has been unearthed as yet regarding whether Vasquez tested positive for the virus.


Vasquez Became A Social Media Star After His ‘Double Rainbow’ Video

Titled “Yosemitebear Mountain Double Rainbow 1-8-10,” the viral video captured from his home became iconic not for the rainbows themselves, but for how elated Vasquez sounds while experiencing them. Throughout the video, Vasquez expresses his awe over the phenomenon and often seems to be at a loss for words, alternating between sounds of laughter and crying.

“Oh my God, it’s a double complete rainbow right in front yard,” he says at one point.

The video, which has reached 47 million views and counting, became famous thanks to the help of Jimmy Kimmel. The talk show host tweeted about it in July 2010.

This led to Vasquez — who had previously worked as a firefighter, security guard, and EMT before taking up farming — becoming famous around the world. He appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and appeared in commercials for Microsoft and Smartwater, as well as an in-flight safety video for Delta Air Lines.

He also received a warm reception from people around the world, per CNN, particularly in Brazil and New Zealand. A throne was built for him when he came to Iceland.

The importance of his video was recognized by YouTube. In 2017, he posted a video of himself visiting YouTube headquarters, encountering a meeting room labeled “Double Rainbow.”


Vasquez Was A Family Man Who Worked A Variety Of Jobs

Known as “Bear,” Vasquez had two children and was previously married. He was a native of East Los Angeles who came to the Yosemite region in 1985. He lived modestly in a mobile home, growing his own crops, including cannabis, which he used for treating ankle problems.

Despite reporting earnings of only $6,000 per year, as he told CNN, Vasquez’s ability to fend for himself meant that he could stretch his budget far.

He continued to make videos, posting updates on his life that showcased the joviality that brought him to fame. His latest video was posted on May 11, titled “Steak Dinner N Fermenting Veggies 4 20.”

Speaking with CNN about his life after having achieved internet fame, he continued to express gratitude.

“In some aspects, I feel really, really rich. I may not have a lot of dollars, but I have 100 mile views with complete privacy that hundreds of millions of people have seen. I got it pretty good.”