David Letterman Net Worth

$480 Million

Last Updated:

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What is David Letterman’s net worth? 

Net Worth:$400 Million
Born:April 12, 1947
Height:1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Country of Origin:United States of America
Source of Wealth:Professional Comedian/TV Host
Last Updated:August 2, 2022


David Letterman is most famous for hosting and producing his late-night television talk shows, Late Night with David Letterman and the Late Show with David Letterman.

Netflix commissioned David to produce the series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, which has proven extremely popular. He has also produced some of the most successful prime-time TV comedies, including Everybody Loves Raymond and Ed.

As of December 2022, David Letterman’s net worth is estimated to be $400 Million.


David Letterman Facts

  • David Letterman founded the production company, Worldwide Pants, in 1991.
  • He’s been nominated for 50 Emmys and won each year from 1984 to 1987 and again in 1994, for a total of 5 awards.
  • Robert “Joe” Halderman, the former CBS News producer, was accused of blackmailing David Letterman due to the affair David was having with his wife.
  • The Late Show with David Letterman has been nominated for 76 Emmy Awards, winning 9.
  • Out of 25 Emmy award nominations, Late Night with David Letterman won 3.


Early Life 

David Michael Letterman was born on 12 April 1947, in Indianapolis, Indiana. His father, Harry Joseph Letterman, worked as a florist while his mother, Dorothy Marie Letterman Mengering, was a church secretary for the Second Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis.

David has two sisters, Gretchen Letterman and Janice Letterman. David grew up in Indianapolis on the north side. He had a passion for model cars and racers.

During his childhood, Letterman’s father survived a heart attack. This affected David to the extent that he was always worried about losing his father as a child. Unfortunately, David’s father passed away due to a second heart attack in 1973 at the age of 57.

David attended Broad Ripple High School and worked at the local Atlas Supermarket as a stock boy.

He wanted to attend Indiana University, but due to his poor grades, had to attend Ball State University, graduating in 1969.

He started his career as a newscaster at his college’s student-run radio station. It is now part of Indiana Public Radio.

Always willing to put in hard work and take the lead, he founded a campus radio station, WCRD 91.3.



With his degree in telecommunications, David first tried out television as a weatherman in Indianapolis before moving to Los Angeles where he performed at the Comedy Store as a stand-up comedian. 

In 1978, he made his first appearance on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Due to David’s visibility, he won himself a mid-morning show called The David Letterman Show which was canceled after only 3 months, despite receiving 2 Emmy Awards.

David developed a following, after moving to late-night television with the show, Late Night with David Letterman. This was a huge hit with night-time viewers and featured in the top 10 list, receiving 5 Emmy Awards and 35 nominations.

After Carson retired in 1992, David announced that he was leaving NBC to join CBS, as he felt that his prospects would be better there… and he was right. His new show, Late Show with David Letterman, quickly drew in more viewers than The Tonight Show.

David hosted the Academy Awards ceremony in 1995, earning mixed reviews from the viewers.

In January 2000, David had emergency quintuple heart bypass surgery. After his recovery, the first episode ended up being the show’s highest-rated episode.

In 2014, after 32 years of success, David announced his retirement from the Late Show, hosting the final episode on the 20th of May 2015.

Since announcing his retirement, David has avoided public appearances, but in 2016, he was a celebrity correspondent for the documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously.

In 2018, David returned to television as the host of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman”. You can check out his official Instagram account to find out more about the show, as it is currently being aired on Netflix.

Behind the scenes, David founded and ran his own production company, Worldwide Pants.


More TV Personalities:


David Letterman’s Career Earnings

Right from the beginning, David Letterman was on to something big. His style and way of interviewing reached both his guests and audience in a way that no other talk show host has managed to emulate. This is why he can command the impressively large salary that he does.

Here is an estimated overview of David Letterman’s annual income:

  • David Letterman’s Salary In 2011 – $21 million
  • David Letterman’s Salary In 2012 – $22 million
  • David Letterman’s Salary In 2013 – $25 million
  • David Letterman’s Salary In 2014 – $28 million
  • David Letterman’s Salary In 2015 – $30 million
  • David Letterman’s Salary In 2022 – $45 million


David Letterman’s Net Worth Annually

It is one thing to earn big money, but another thing entirely to hang on to it. David has made astute investments and his net worth has massively increased as a result of his intuitive grasp of finance.

Here’s a breakdown of David Letterman’s annual net worth:

  • David Letterman’s Net Worth In 2018 – $300 million
  • David Letterman’s Net Worth In 2019 – $350 million
  • David Letterman’s Net Worth In 2020 – $390 million
  • David Letterman’s Net Worth In 2021 – $435 million
  • David Letterman’s Net Worth In 2022 – $480 million


Personal Life

In 1968, David married his college sweetheart, Michelle Cook, but divorced soon after in October 1977.

He started dating Regina Lasko in 1986, and the couple had a son together, Harry Joseph Letterman, on the 3rd of November 2003.

There was an incident in 2005, where police discovered a plot by Kelly Frank, the house painter, who wanted to kidnap David’s son and demand a $5 million ransom.

David and Lasko were married on the 19th of March 2009. They are still married despite the numerous affairs that David revealed on his show. A blackmailer attempted to reveal his affairs with multiple of his female employees, which caused CBS News to conduct an in-depth investigation of David.

David had a stalker, Margaret Mary Ray, who in May 1988 stole his Porsche, camped on his tennis court, and broke into his house multiple times. She was a diagnosed schizophrenic who died by suicide at the age of 46 in October 1998.

Another unhinged person took out a restraining order against Letterman as she claimed he was sending her coded messages via his television program. This apparently caused her bankruptcy and severe emotional distress.


Awards & Achievements

Over the years, David Letterman’s name has become synonymous with outstanding comedy and insightful interviews. And he has been rewarded for his hard work with armfuls of awards and prizes.

Here are some of David Letterman’s most memorable career achievements:

  • He received the “Mark Twain Prize” for American Humour in 2017.
  • The “People’s Choice Award” for Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host was awarded to David in 2005.
  • Letterman won the “Kennedy Center Honors” in 2012.
  • In 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1987, David received the “Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series”.
  • And in 1994, he won the “Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Variety Series”.
  • He won the “TCA Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2012.
  • David impressively won the “Peabody Personal Award” in 2016.
  • He won both Daytime Emmys for “Outstanding host in a variety series” and for “Outstanding Individual Achievement – Writers” in 1981.

With an outstanding number of awards and achievements under his belt, David shows no sign of slowing down. We expect to see him on the winner’s podium shortly.


How Does David Letterman Spend His Money?

David has a huge passion for cars and owns an impressive collection of the most expensive cars in the world, which he keeps under lock and key in his garage.

It has been reported that the collection consists of 10 Ferraris, 8 Porches, 4 Austin Healeys, 2 Honda motorbikes, a Chevy pickup truck, and one car from each automaker; Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, MG, Volvo, and Pontiac.

David reportedly spent $10 million on 108 acres of land in Westchester County, New York. He has property on Martha’s Vineyard, in St Barths, and Montana. He lives at home in North Salem, New York, in a mansion that is purported to have cost more than $5 million.

Letterman supports many causes, donating large amounts of money to a variety of different charities. He donated nearly $600,000 to Habitat for Humanity, and he gave $10,000 to cancer research.

He founded The American Foundation for Courtesy and Grooming in 1993 and that foundation has given away over $1.2 million.



Over the years, David has developed a winning formula for his shows. Using humor and an engaging style, David elicits fascinating stories from his guests, often getting them to reveal a part of their personality that the audience has never seen before.

Here are some of the best highlights of David Letterman’s career:

  • David Letterman has appeared a total of 22 times on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson”.
  • Letterman appeared in a documentary about climate change called, Years of Living Dangerously, where he travels around India, discussing their renewable energy plan.
  • David’s latest highlight is his new Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, where he interviews the top celebrities including former presidents such as Barack Obama, film stars like George Clooney, singer Jay-Z, and celebrity, Howard Stern, who is a firm favorite.
  • On the 1st of February 2022, the new host of the Late Show, Seth Meyers, invited Letterman to celebrate the show’s 40th anniversary.

Despite his age, David Letterman is still going strong and is as witty and engaging as ever.


Favorite David Letterman Quotes

Never at a loss for words, David Letterman has spent time with some of the most intelligent and astute individuals on the planet. He stands apart as a talk show host that is erudite and insightful, bringing out the best in everyone he meets.

Here are our favorite quotes from David Letterman:

  • “I don’t like stand-up comedy that requires a lot of props. I respect people who can walk out onstage alone and with no other tool but their minds and can make you laugh and maybe even think a little.” –  David Letterman
  • “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” – David Letterman
  • “I’m just trying to make a smudge on the collective unconscious.” – David Letterman
  • “The worst tempered people I have ever met were those who thought that they were wrong.” – David Letterman
  • “If it wasn’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsover.” – David Letterman


3 Amazing Lessons From David Letterman

With his business acumen and worldly-wise demeanor, David Letterman has seen and done it all. But it hasn’t gone to his head and his forthright approach is evident in lessons one can take away from his intriguing interviews.

Now that you know all about David Letterman’s net worth, here are some of the best success lessons to learn from David Letterman:


1. Everyone Deserves Forgiveness

No one is beyond reproach and, after years of experience, David believes that everyone deserves a second chance and the benefit of the doubt.


2. Always Follow Your Passion

It is easy to be drawn toward money and fame, but following your passion will bring you true happiness.


3. Do Nothing But Your Best

Above all else, work hard. For it is by working hard that you bring out the best in yourself and others.



David Letterman has had a rollercoaster of a career and life. This has impacted his performances, drawing on his many and varied experiences. Through the rough patches that come with fame, David stood strong, holding his head high and charging straight on.

David has created the perfect life for himself, creating the career he has always wanted along the way. With his new show airing on Netflix, David’s net worth is definitely increasing by the minute.

As of December 2022, David Letterman’s net worth is estimated to be $400 Million.

What do you think about David Letterman’s net worth? Leave a comment below. 

John Mulder
John Mulderhttps://360tsd.com/
John is a professional accountant with a passion for writing. When not helping clients identify tax and financial opportunities, you can find him writing, sailing offshore, or flying a plane. He’s worked and partied with the rich and famous from around the world, getting an inside look at the secretive lifestyles of high-net-worth celebrities.


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