Dick Wolf is one of the most noteworthy American TV and film producers who has been linked to large television franchises, earning him an Emmy award and an admission into the Television Hall of Fame as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. So, what is Dick Wolf’s net worth, and what projects have earned him the most money? Read on to find out.
Who is Dick Wolf?
Dick Wolf is a television producer and showrunner who is most associated with the long-running show Law & Order and other spin-off shows in the television franchise. However, he has done work on other shows as well, including the Chicago franchise, sometimes called One Chicago, which includes several procedural dramas, including Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Med, and Chicago Justice.
A third major TV franchise that Wolf has worked on is the FBI franchise, which includes FBI and its spinoffs, FBI: Most Wanted and FBI: International.
Other shows he has worked on and is working on include:
- Twin Towers
- Cold Justice
- New York Undercover
He is continuing to expand his franchises as well as take on new projects. One future project that is expected to air on Peacock is a new Law & Order show, Law & Order: Hate Crimes. Many people excitedly await this new chapter of the much-loved franchises, which has been on the air for more than three decades.
Dick Wolf’s Early Years
Born as Richard Anthony Wolf in New York City, Dick Wolf was raised in Manhattan by an Irish Catholic mother and a Jewish father. As a young boy, he went to a Catholic church and served as an altar boy, so these religious origins have an important role in his upbringing and perspective of life.
In his young years, he went to schools like Saint David’s School, Phillips Academy, and The Gunnery. He then decided to get his college education at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1969. During his college years, he studied but was also part of the Zeta Psi fraternity, which is one of the oldest fraternities and can be very selective about its chapters.
What is Dick Wolf’s Net Worth?
Dick Wolf has made a lot of money in his career as a producer and showrunner. Sources estimate that Dick Wolf is worth around $600 million, and this number continues to grow as he takes on more projects. Forbes has Wolf listed as #15 on their list of 2022 highest-paid entertainers, and this list suggests that he made $86 million in 2021.
How Did Dick Wolf Make His Money?
Dick Wolf makes his money as a television producer of many prominent shows. These shows have helped him become a long-term influencer in network television. While his TV shows like Law & Order and the One Chicago franchise are most of his income, he also has tried his hand at producing films and writing. Wolf has written four books.
He wrote one non-fiction book, a companion to Law & Order. His three other books are part of a thriller series that Wolf has written with Jeremy Fisk, an NYPD detective.
Wolf says that he makes shows based on what he likes, “I don’t think you can really make television based on what you think audiences want. You can only make stories that you like, because you have to watch it so many times.” While gaining an audience is important, Wolf emphasizes creating the best projects by following his passion.
Law and Order Franchise
The Law & Order franchise continues to earn Dick Wolf new income and residuals from syndication. There have been seven shows in the franchise, with two that are in the works.
There have also been one television film and one television section. Five video games and a companion book add to the cultural impact of the franchise in the United States. In addition to the United States-based works, there have been several foreign adaptations around the world, including in Russia, France, and the UK. Not only has the Law & Order franchise established Dick Wolf as a household name, but it has also helped create his legacy.
What is Dick Wolf Up to Now?
While Dick Wolf has found a niche in crime and justice fictional TV shows and excels at these types of shows, there’s no doubt that he isn’t afraid to take a chance on a worthwhile project and has shaped the current TV industry as we know it.
Wolf has said about television producers not wanting to take any risks, “Their argument is that most shows are losers, which is true, but it’s also disingenuous to say, ‘We are not going to take the risk unless it is totally covered by the few successful shows that are out there.’”
Dick Wolf’s Personal Life
Dick Wolf is not currently married, but he has been married three times to Susan Scranton, Christine Marburg, and Noelle Lippman. While these relationships ended in divorce, they gave Dick Wolf five children.
Dick Wolf’s Legacy
Dick Wolf is a television legacy. He has made shows that resonate and entertain people, but he has also done more than that. His efforts have helped shape the crime drama genre and franchises like Law & Order have inspired countless other shows that have followed the same format in hopes of replicating Law & Order’s success. There’s no doubt that Wolf’s influence will be felt on our TV screens for decades.
What Does Dick Wolf’s Future Look Like?
With such a long history of excellence, lots of people are interested in what Dick Wolf currently has in the works. Although Dick Wolf—“the master of crime drama”—could certainly retire if he wanted to, he seems to want to stay busy, continuing to serve as a producer in crime and justice genres. He is even trying his hand at true crime through projects like Blood & Money, which explores crimes driven by greed and financial power.
Another series, LA Fire and Rescue, was ordered by NBC. This series is a docu-series that shows the lives of firefighters with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. It’s unclear at this time when this series will air, but it marks Wolf’s emerging interest in several non-fiction projects.
Because Wolf has marked himself as a powerful and successful figure in his television niche, he has a lot of opportunities to try endeavors that excite him and produce shows that reflect his current interests. Based on his continued role as one of the top-earning producers, it’s apparent that Dick Wolf will continue his work as a producer and with his company, Wolf Entertainment. His shows will continue to make their way into American and international homes.
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Written by Allen Lee
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