Karger had his first brush with politics at the tender age of 14 while accompanying his father, who was the Republican Precinct Chairman for Glencoe, Illinois, in numerous party related activities. Nevertheless, the family expected him to join the family stockbroking firm upon graduation.
However, as luck would have it, Karger and his frat brothers from the University of Denver gatecrashed the 1972 Academy Awards. His interest in show business was piqued and right after getting his degree, young Fred went to seek his fortune in Hollywood. He made a small name for himself, appearing in several TV shows and commercials.
He left Hollywood after five years and joined the Dolphin Group, a political consultancy specialist. It was here that Karger finally found his true calling. He was with the company for the next 27 years, and retired as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in Dec 2003. He is widely credited as one of the earliest proponent of modern opposition research strategies.
His retirement was interrupted only a few months later when he discovered that Boom Boom Room, an iconic gay bar near his home in Laguna Beach, California, was scheduled to be demolished for a new hotel development project. This proved to be the launching pad for Karger to go into the realm of gay rights activism, and he has been in the thick of action ever since.