Former talk show host David Letterman has achieved a massive net worth of $400 million. This is a tremendous fortune and the first question that comes to mind is how did he do it? In order to answer this question, we first have to look at his life and career. This amazing celebrity personality whose name has become a household word has been appearing on our television screens for decades. So here is more about how he came to become the multi-millionaire that he is today.
David Letterman wasn’t born into wealth and privilege and he didn’t have the fortune to fall back on if he wasn’t successful in his chosen career. His father was a florist and his mother, a church secretary. He was born just after the traumatic World War II era in Indiana. He attended Ball State University in Muncie. He embarked on his career in media after graduation.
David Letterman’s career
Letterman began his career right after he graduated from college. He has held many different jobs in the industry throughout his career. He worked as a children’s program host, as a television weatherman, and as a regular talk show host.
His search for creativity
In 1975, David Letterman moved to Los Angeles to begin a career as a writer. He wrote for many popular television sitcoms, among them “Good Times.” While he was living in L.A. he was invited to appear on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.” This gave his career as a comedian a really big boost.
Moving into the big time
After Mr. Carson had featured Letterman on several episodes of the epic talk show, his talent was recognized and it wasn’t long before he was offered his own talk show. In 1980, he hosted “The David Letterman Show.” Although the program only ran for three months, it was a start and more offers began to come in. NBC offered Letterman another opportunity for hosting “Late Night With David Letterman” which immediately followed the NBC lineup after Carson’s late night show. This was an ideal time slot and it was at this time that Letterman’s popularity grew quickly. He attracted an audience of younger viewers in addition to the middle-aged. He has served as late-night talk show host for a total of 33 very successful years.
He was connected in all the right places
Letterman’s relationship with Johnny Carson was the most influential in his budding career. He idolized Carson and followed fairly closely in the late comedian’s footsteps, achieving a success that could be likened to that of Carson. Just as Johnny helped David Letterman to get a solid footing, so has Letterman paid the favor forward in lending a hand to Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, and Jimmy Kimmel. Letterman joined Carson in pioneering the late night talk show format and he remained on the outside of the mainstream, unlike his contemporaries, Leno and the others. It’s widely believed that Leno, Fallon, Kimmel, and Stewart all have David Letterman to thank for their own success in light night talk show hosting.
An evolution in the industry
Johnny Carson began by busting out of the mold and pioneering late-night talk show television. After him, Letterman brought a fresh and unique new perspective that reached younger audiences and drew them in. He consistently pushed the envelope and took his material well outside of the box, stretching the norms of comedy in this genre and established a new normal.
Contributors to Letterman’s wealth
Letterman brought in a $16 million salary. As a producer, he also benefited from other aspects of his shows. In addition to his successes as a late-night talk show host, Letterman was a brilliant writer and producer. He has a reputation for downplaying his financial status because he’s just a low key kind of guy who doesn’t brag about his fame or success. Much of his net wealth has been earned through his appearances, salary, and revenues generated from his Worldwide Pants production company. It was under this production firm that shows like “Everybody Loves Raymond, and many others come from. He’s also the owner of a ranch in Montana that works bison and other real estate investments.
All said and told, It’s estimated that David Letterman has amassed a net worth of $400 million. He’s come by it honestly through his hard work and careful investments. He’s a self-made man that took the help he needed when it was offered. He was careful to maintain that tradition throughout his career. He isn’t finished making money but we think that he does what he loves now and it’s more for the passion than for the money.