David Letterman Net Worth 2022: How Did David Letterman Make His Money?

David Letterman As an American comedian and a former late-night talk show host, David Letterman has an estimated net worth of $400 million at this time in his career.

In the past, Letterman could easily earn $50 million in licensing and syndication fees each year, but that number has plummeted in recent years.

David Letterman Early Life

David Michael Letterman was born on April 12, 1947, in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has one sister who is older and one who is younger. Harry, a florist, and Dorothy Letterman, a church secretary, were his parents.

His father had a heart attack when he was 57 years old and died. Letterman went to Broad Ripple High School and worked as a stock boy at a local supermarket. In 1969, he got a degree from Ball State University’s Department of Tv and Radio.

Early Career

Letterman worked at Ball State’s student radio, WBST. He was sacked for mocking classical music. After graduation, he became a weatherman in Indianapolis. His unpredictable style and informal humor on-air included predicting the weather for made-up cities. Family and friends urged him to move to Los Angeles in 1975 to write comedy.


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He started doing stand-up there. Through stand-up, he built many connections and started writing and appearing in 1978. He screen-tested for Airplane! But lost to Robert Hays. Eventually, Johnny Carson’s talent scouts noticed his sarcasm and caustic wit, and he became a regular guest on The Tonight Show. Carson is Letterman’s most significant career influence.

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Personal Life

When Dave went in for a regular checkup in January 2000, physicians detected a severe blockage in one of his arteries and sent him to the emergency room for surgery. He used guest hosts for the show while he was getting better.

Michelle Cook, Dave’s undergraduate sweetheart, married him in 1968. After moving to Los Angeles in 1977, they divorced in October of that year. Merrill Markoe, a Late Night producer, was his girlfriend from 1978 to 1988. Her effect on his comic style is thought to have been significant.

When Letterman and Regina Lasko first began dating in February of 1986, Lasko became pregnant with their son, born in 2003. The family lives in North Salem, New York, where they were married in 2009.

Police discovered a conspiracy to kidnap his son and demanded a ransom of $5 million in 2005. Letterman’s former house painter was among those charged in the scheme.

David Letterman Net Worth

In 2009, a person threatened to divulge Letterman’s affairs with several of his female colleagues to blackmail him. For the first time since the scandal, Letterman publicly apologized to his wife and employees on October 5, 2009, broadcast for his actions.

His alcoholism and anxiety have been revealed, and he no longer drinks.

Late Show with Stephen Colbert:

During retirement, Letterman has focused on personal projects and charities. The Letterman Foundation for Courtesy and Grooming has donated millions to the American Cancer Society, Doctors Without Borders, and Ball State University. He still owns the company he created in 1991. The factory makes his show and others. My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman debuted on Netflix in 2018. Season 2 debuted on May 31, 2019. First guest: Obama.

How Did David Letterman Make His Money?

Letterman was a talented writer, producer, and late-night talk show host. His shows had other benefits as a producer. Letterman made $16m.

After-Hours Work

On June 23, 1980, NBC gave Dave a morning comedy show. It was canceled after four months despite critical acclaim. NBC tried rescheduling him. Letterman’s play debuted in February 1982. Bill Murray appeared first.

Monday through Thursday, 12:30 a.m. EST, after The Tonight Show. Dave’s irreverent, cheeky, cynical, self-deprecating humor and quirky bits gained a cult following. Many admirers found Dave’s honesty refreshing as a keen and candid interviewer. “Stupid Pet Tricks” and Top 10 List segments were also popular.

Letterman left NBC to anchor The Late Show on CBS, opposing The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Fans expected Letterman would take over The Tonight Show after Johnny Carson retired in 1992. NBC surprised everyone by hiring Jay Leno. The performance premiered at Ed Sullivan Theater on August 30, 1993.

Letterman toned down his quirky, unique comedy for a larger, more traditional audience. He introduced Paul Shaffer and his band as a sidekick to the show and expanded the opening speech. Letterman’s pay at CBS doubled from NBC.


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In 20 years as a late-night host, Letterman received 67 Emmy nominations and 12 wins. He rebranded many of his prior show’s hallmark parts (i.e., The Top Ten List became The Late Show Top Ten). Letterman and Leno were known competitors, taking turns dominating each year.

Letterman’s last episode, a star-studded event, aired on May 20, 2015. 13,76 million watched. Colbert will replace Letterman. Letterman hosted 6,080 late-night shows. He eclipsed Carson as TV’s longest-running late-night host.

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Property and Other Businesses

Dave has leveraged his wealth to establish himself as a real estate tycoon. He owns a 108-acre mansion in Westchester County, New York (the acquisition price was $5 million for 88 acres in 1994 and $5 million for the rest of the property in 2007); a 2,700-acre ranch near Chateau, Montana; a residence on Martha’s Vineyard; and a house in St. Barth’s. He is a co-owner of the Indy Racing League team known as Rahal Letterman Racing.

David Letterman’s Net Worth

David Letterman is a comedian and former host of a late-night talk show in the United States. His net worth is currently estimated to be $400 million. Letterman quickly earned $50 million each year in license and syndication fees in previous years. Still, that figure has decreased slightly due to recent competition from other talk show hosts.

Frequently Ask Question

What Is Letterman Doing Now?

In 1993, Letterman left NBC to join CBS, where he hosted Late Show With David Letterman from 1993 until his retirement in 2015. To be a long-form interviewer on Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Letterman was chosen in 2018.

Who Took Over Letterman’s Spot?

N.Y. Stephen Colbert is CBS’ new late-night host. Since 1993, Letterman has hosted “Late Show.” “Colbert Report” host will succeed Letterman next year. Colbert gets five years.

Is David Letterman a Millionaire?

David Letterman is an American comedian and former late-night talk show host with $400 million.

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