Matt Groening is best known for being the creator of the popular television cartoon series, "The Simpsons." He's a professional cartoonist, animator, author and producer who has achieved a great deal of success throughout his career. He's managed to amass a fortune with an estimated net worth of $500 million. Groening has hit the halfway mark to becoming a billionaire, but how did he do it? Is it possible that his work as a cartoonist has paid that well or did he make his millions from some other source? We looked into his career and his personal history and here is what we learned.
His early life
Groening was born in Portland, Oregon. He was a young man with the dream of becoming a professional writer. Matt's career didn't take off as quickly as he would have liked. He was forced to take on a series of jobs that were necessary to keep him afloat while he continued to develop his animation and cartoonist skills. He was ambitious but his career trajectory had not gone in the direction that he wanted and the day jobs that he worked were merely for survival and did little to help him achieve his life goals and dreams of becoming a professional writer in the television industry. He studied for his profession at the Evergreen State College, prior to relocating to Los Angeles, California to pursue his dreams of becoming a pro in the film industry as a writer and cartoonist.
Hard times inspired his greatest work
In his early years he endured some frustrations, so he turned these emotions into a comic book, using his talents as a writer and a cartoonist into a comic that he titled "Life in Hell." This was a self-published work which gives us our first clue that he was experiencing difficulty becoming recognized for his talent and getting a publisher to recognize his work. After the self-released the comic, he got a lucky break. James L. Brooks, who was a famed Hollywood producer saw the comic and decided that it had the potential for success and he created a small screen show which was based upon the characters Groening had created and titled it The Tracy Ullman Show. While this was a form of official recognition from one of the biggest names in the business, Matt had a tough time signing over the rights to his first publication, so he negotiated a deal with Brooks that resulted in the creation of "The Simpsons," which resulted in the development of one of the most successful animated television shows on the air today. The long-running series has been aired ever since. The show ran for a total of 29 seasons with a total of 600 episodes, which made Matt Groening a very rich man from the royalties he received and still continues to get to this day.
Matt's career after "The Simpsons"
Twenty-nine seasons of the first recognized work Groening created was grounds for acknowledging that he had achieved tremendous success in his career. He had already become incredibly wealthy from this one venture, but he wasn't through. In 2007, he created "The Simpsons Movie" which was a high grossing film that brought in $527 million with a budget of $75 million. He also launched several other television shows including "The Tracey Ullman Show which ran from 1987 through 1989 for 48 episodes, and he created "Futurama" which ran from 1999 through 2003, then again from 2008 through 2013. He also wrote and produced the Netflix series "Disenchantment" which launched in 2018 and is still airing today. Since Matt got his lucky break with the "Life in Hell" self-publication, he's been on an exciting role with his career and it hasn't let up since. All he really needed was just one break to have his amazing talents as a writer and character developer to be recognized, and from that point on he's forged his own career path.
Other revenue sources
The truth of the matter is that Matt Groening has made the bulk of his wealth from his creation of "The Simpsons." He's won multiple significant awards for the show as well as for the film which he later produced. This was such a smashing success and it ran for the bulk of his career, but then he also achieved success with "Futurama." In addition to all of this Groening also receives a cut of the royalties from all of the "Simpsons" licensed merchandise sales, which have resulted in millions of dollars in revenue from the toys, T-shirts, coffee mugs and just about everything else you can imagine that has the image or a saying from one of the characters from the show. Groening also launched his own comic book company in 1994, called Bongo Comics.
There's little need for speculation as to where Matt Groening has made his millions. "The Simpsons" alone was the single most important work in his life so far that gave him his big start in the business. He's made the majority of his fortune through the long-running series, which we've learned is going to be renewed for seasons 31 through 32 beginning in 2021. The popularity of the show keeps it in high demand with the massive fan base that just keeps growing with the passage of time. One thing that we can say about Matt Groening is that his work is evergreen and enduring. It's something that people simply don't grow tired of seeing and as we consider that he already has a net wealth of $500 million, he's far from being done. Matt Groening will continue to rake in royalties from his earlier work for the rest of his life, and when he passes away, it will go to his relatives. He's established a mini-empire within the television industry that is likely to continue to be popular for decades.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker