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David Letterman Net Worth — Sources of His Massive Fortune

Heisenberg Published On Tue May 05 2020   Modified On Tue May 05 2020
David Letterman Net Worth — Sources of His Massive Fortune

Grab all the details on the net worth of the former host David Letterman of NBC talk show 'Late Night with David Letterman.' 

David Letterman reached the peak of success in his career through his long-running late-night television talk show 'Late Show with David Letterman.' He served as the host of the show for over 33 years, from 1982 to 2015, making him the longest-serving late-night talk show host in American television history.

David Letterman earned the tremendous name and fame through the impressive success of the show throughout the course of its running. With over three decades of contribution to television entertainment, David left the industry with not only his mark, but also huge piles of cash. Let's find out how much the 73-year-old make during his time at 'Late Show with David Letterman.'

David Letterman Holds a Whopping Net Worth of $400 Million, Making Him One of the Richest TV Talk Show Hosts in the World

According to an article on David Letterman's wealth by Celebrity Net Worth, the former talk-show host currently possesses a fortune worth an estimated $400 million. The report also mentioned that David also earns around $50 million per year in licensing and syndication fees. Still, the amount is not consistent as the figures have decreased slightly in recent years.

David Letterman currently possesses a fortune worth an estimated $400 million.

David Letterman currently possesses a fortune worth an estimated $400 million.
Source: ABC News

David made nearly all of his fortune from his work from the late-night talk show. David Letterman started his talk show in 1980 with his NBC show 'The David Letterman Show.' The popularity of the show helped him earn a $1 million salary.

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By the time his CBS show 'Late Night with David Letterman' began gaining major fame in 1982, David earned about $7 million per year. In the later years, he went to make a yearly income of $40 million in his prime.

Joaquin Phoenix on Late Show with David Letterman HDTV 1080p

According to an article by Showbiz Cheat Sheet, David Letterman owns the rights to all the content he produced from his late-night talk shows through his production company, Worldwide Pants. The article wrote: 'The company also owns the rights to all the versions of CBS' The Late Late Show that appeared in the time slot after Late Night.' According to the article, the production company also owns the hit sitcom 'Everybody Loves Raymond.'

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Another article by Showbiz Cheat Sheet puts David on the top of the list of highest-paid stars with streaming shows. Even though the former host retired from his late-night hosting job, he returned in 2018 to the screen when Netflix gave him $12 million to run the show. He earns an estimated $2 million salary from the show making him one of the highest-paid stars on TV.

David Letterman Spends Some Portion of His Money for His Love of Cars

David Letterman is fond of cars and even has bought a small stake in an auto racing team. According to an article by Autoweek, he is co-owner of the auto racing team named Indianapolis 500, which later became Rahal Letterman Racing.

David Letterman is a co-owner of the auto racing team named Indianapolis 500.

David Letterman is a co-owner of the auto racing team named Indianapolis 500.
Source: Indianapolis Colts 

David Letterman has his own impressive collection of cars. He reportedly pays the tax and registration fees of more than $26,000 a year for the cars he owns. And the cache includes several Ferraris worth $1.2 million combined too.

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Here is a list of cars that David Letterman owns in his collection. The details of the vehicles are given in this article.

  1. 1969 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS
  2. 1963 Ferrari 250 GTE
  3. 1956 Porsche 356 1500 GS Carrera
  4. 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso
  5. 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
  6. 1968 Ferrari 330 GTS
  7. 1957 Porsche 356 A Speedster
  8. 1960 Austin-Healy Bugeye Sprite
  9. 1973 Chevrolet C20 Cheyenne
  10. 1959 MGA Twin Cam 1588CC
  11. 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe
  12. 1961 Austin-Healey 3000 MK1
  13. 1988 Ferrari 328 GTS
  14. 1956 Austin-Healey 100-4 BN2
  15. 1955 Jaguar XK 140
  16. 1964 Porsche 356c
  17. 1961 Porsche 356 Cabriolet
  18. 1983 Ferrari 512 BBi
  19. 1995 Volvo 960 Station Wagon
  20. Nissan LEAF

David Letterman Has Also Invested His Money in the Real Estate

David Letterman has also invested his money in the real estate business. He has spent $10 million total for 108 acres of land in Westchester County, just north of New York City. He bought the property with a purchase price of $5 million for 88 acres in 1994 and $5 million for the rest in 2007. 

David letterman owns a $5 million North Salem home, in Westchester County, New York.

David letterman owns a $5 million North Salem home, in Westchester County, New York.
Source: Haute Residence

Letterman also has such property in Martha's Vineyard, a house in St. Barth's, and a 2,700-acre ranch near Chateau, Montana.

According to an article by Urban Splatter, David Letterman lives in New York, in his first North Salem home, in Westchester County, which he bought in 1994 for $5 million. He lives with his wife and son there. The house is surrounded by a space of over 8,000 square feet with eight bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

David Letterman Does Not Only Have a Big Fortune, But He Also Has a Big Heart

With lots of money in the name of his wealth, David Letterman does not spend all of it on his luxurious lifestyle. He also has a heart to help those in need. David often gives away a significant portion of his money to charity, to assist those who are in need of financial support.

David Letterman also spends a significant portion of his wealth in philanthropy.

David Letterman also spends a significant portion of his wealth in philanthropy.
Source: Wikipedia Commons

According to Inside Philanthropy, the former late-night talk show host donated nearly $600,000 to 'Habitat to Humanity' between 2011 and 2013. Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps people repair and improve their own homes and neighborhoods. According to the website of the organization, its Disaster Response branch works with local communities to address a variety of housing needs after natural disasters. Furthermore, Habitat's advocacy work raises awareness and support for decent and affordable housing around the world. 

David Letterman is also reported to have given a $10,000 grant for cancer research to Case Western University in 2011. Besides, David's 'American Foundation for Courtesy and Grooming', which he founded in 1993, has given away at least $1.2 million over the years, according to Forbes.

David Letterman also has created the Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship at Ball State University. He started the scholarship award in 1985 for Ball State students with a telecommunications major or minor. 

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According to Ball State University's website, from where David himself graduated in 1969, the scholarship is awarded to students on the basis of creativity, not grades. Applying students must submit a creative project, such as writing, research, interactive media, computer graphics, or websites. The winner can get up to $10,000 worth of money with the two runners up getting $5,000 and $3,333, respectively.

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