From JK Rowling to ‘The Simpsons’ Creator Matt Groening, Here Are The 10 Richest Authors of All Time
Building worlds and multi-million empires
Many writers spend their lives building fantastical worlds, but only a few go on to become millionaires or billionaires. Here is the list of the 10 richest authors of all time and their jaw-dropping wealth might inspire you to hone your storytelling skills.
1. JK Rowling: $1 billion+
The world that she built became the world that every kid in the 2000s wanted to escape to. It's no shocker that "Harry Potter" made JK Rowling immensely rich, but did you know that she is the only billionaire on this list today? The seven-volume series sold over 600 million copies and has been translated into 84 languages to date. The WB movie adaptation of the series made Harry Potter a worldwide phenomenon. According to Celebrity Net Worth, JK Rowling is the first author to build a $1 billion empire.
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2. James Patterson: 800 million+
The second richest author on the planet is James Patterson, who is best known for penning "Alex Cross," "Detective Michael Bennett" and "Women's Murder Club." Patterson has written more than 140 novels since 1976 and his books have been a raving success with more than 425 million copies sold worldwide. He is known for his ability to flesh out characters and his productivity. He is also one of the most consistent writers of all time. According to Celebrity Net Worth, James Patterson has a net worth of $800 million as of 2023.
3. Jim Davis: 800 million
The American cartoonist is also worth $800 million as of 2023. He is best known for creating the beloved character, Garfield. Since the character's debut, Garfield has seen many successful spin-offs, including the famous CBS series and television program written by Davis himself. He is a recipient of many famous awards like the Primetime Emmy Award and more. He was responsible for all the shows that aired between 1981 to 1994 and which are still famous to date.
4. Danielle Steel: $600 million
American author Danielle Steel is best known for her romance novels like "The Wedding Planner," "Sage Harbour," "Lost and Found," and more. She is one of the bestselling authors with over 800 million copies sold. With more than 180 published books, she was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records after one of her books spent 381 consecutive weeks on "The New York Times" Bestseller List, as per Celebrity Net Worth. She is worth $600 million.
5. Grant Cardone: $600 million
Best known for his business books like "The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure," Grant Cardone has a net worth of $600 million as of 2023. He is also the CEO of seven privately held companies and runs 13 business programs, as per Nasdaq. Grant Cardone was named the number one marketer by Forbes magazine for the above-mentioned book. His mindset which made him famous is the 10X rule which tells you to aim 10 times bigger than what you initially think is possible. The simple principle is that even if you fall short you will be in a better position.
6. Matt Groening: $600 million
Matt Groening, the creator of "The Simpsons", the longest-running primetime TV series in history is worth a whopping $600 million. The show debuted in December 1980 and is still running after all these years. The show was originally started by Groening and Sam Simon. However, due to creative differences, Sam Simon left the show in 1993.
7. Paulo Coelho: $500 million
Known for famous books like "The Alchemist," the Brazilian novelist is the seventh richest on the list with a net worth of $500 million. The international bestseller "The Alchemist" was published in 1988 and has since been a bestseller. Apart from being a novelist, he is also a lyricist and has worked as a songwriter as well.
8. Rose Kennedy: $500 million
American philanthropist and writer Rose Kennedy had an astounding net worth of $500 million at the time of her passing in 1995. She was the matriarch of the Kennedy family and is best known for writing her autobiography, "Times to Remember." She was a homemaker all her life and took care of her nine children, of which one served as the 35th president of the country. In her autobiography, she wrote, "I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession that was fully as interesting and challenging as any honorable profession in the world."
9. Stephen King: $500 million
Responsible for many people's sleepless nights, the creator of "The Shining" is number 9 on the list of the wealthiest authors in the world. Stephen King's net worth is an estimated $500 million. Dubbed the "King of Horror," Stephen King is best known for his book "The Shining", which was later adapted by the legendary director Stanley Kubrick for his 1980 supernatural movie of the same name. The movie stars Jack Nicholson, Danny Lloyd, Shelley Duvall, and Scatman Crothers in the lead roles.
10. John Grisham: $400 million
Best known for legal thrillers like "The Firm" and "Pelican Brief"—both of which have been adapted into blockbuster movies--John Grisham has a net worth of $400 million. The prolific author earns anywhere between $50 million to $60 million every year from book royalties and advances. Since his debut, he has written 28 more books and sold over 300 million copies. Grisham is also known for being a politician and activist.
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