HomeNet WorthJohnny Carson Net Worth: Career & Charity

Johnny Carson Net Worth: Career & Charity

The king of the late-night talk show, Johnny Carson, had a net worth of $300 million at the time of his death.

Johnny Carson was a television personality, comedian, writer, and producer from the United States.

He is best known for hosting the Tonight Show, Starring Johnny Carson.

Carson is unquestionably the late-night show’s godfather.

He was the one who began the program off with a monologue, which was followed by a humorous skit, guest interviews, and humorous or musical acts.

Old Picture of Johnny Carson (Source: Pinterest)

He was born in October 1925, in Corning, Iowa, to Ruth and Homer Carson. His father was a power company manager.

He was pretty talented as a child and used to perform magic tricks for his family.

His captivating speech and conversation skills rocketed him to the height of achievement.

Quick Facts

Full Name John William Carson
Celebrated As Johnny Carson
Date of birth Oct 23, 1925
Place of birth Corning, Iowa
Residency Malibu
Death Jan 23, 2005
Nationality American
Ethnicity Irish ancestry
Gender Male
Horoscope Scorpio
Religion Christian
Father Homer Lloyd Carson
Mother Elizabeth Ruth Carson
Siblings Richard Charles Carson, Catherine Carson
Ex-Wives Jody Morrill Wolcott ​(M. 1949-D.1963)​

Joanne Copeland ​(M. 1963-D. 1972)​

Joanna Holland ​(M. 1972-D.1985)​

Alexis Maas (M.1987- 2005)

Children Cory Carson, Richard Carson, Christopher Carson
Sexual orientation Straight
Height 1.79 m
Weight 70 kg
Eye Colour Blue
Hair Color Light Blonde
Education University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Millsap Performing Arts

SOAS University of London

Profession Television host, Writer, Producer, and Comedian
Social Media Official Website
Net Worth $300 million
Last Update May 2024

Johnny Carson | Net Worth and Income

The talk show host Johnny Carson had a net worth of $300 million at the time of his demise.

Carson was the highest-paid television celebrity in the show industry in the mid-1970s, earning roughly $4 million per year.

Just at height of his career in 1991, he made $25 million per year in compensation, which is about $40 million in today’s money.

Though he was highly compensated for his shows, he also had started his own businesses.

He had two television stations to his name.

Carson also boosted his income by working as a master of ceremonies at local church dinners.

Johnny Carson Net Worth  in Different Currencies

Let’s look into Johnny Carson’s net worth in different currencies, including the Cryptocurrency BitCoin.

Currency Net Worth
Euro € 251,896,500
Pound Sterling £ 216,472,500
Australian Dollar A$ 398,210,700
Canadian Dollar C$ 370,894,500
Indian Rupee ₹ 22,266,330,000
BitCoin ฿ 8,533.40

Johnny Carson | House and Cars


Johnny Carson used to live in a sprawling home near Malibu.

The property’s centerpiece is a contemporary showplace built by Malibu architect Ed Niles.

The Exterior of Jonny Carson Malibu Home (Source: Pinterest)

The property has a copper-and-glass sunken fireplace in the living room, a remodeled kitchen, a media room, and a wine cellar.

A 30-foot-high glass ceiling lets in natural light into the indoor arboretum of the residence.

The historic house is currently on the market for $65.2 million, a 20% reduction from the previous asking price of $81.5 million.


Johnny Carson was a vehicle enthusiast.

He also had a sizable fleet of vehicles. Carson was captivated by the elegance of vintage vehicles.

However, his favorite automobile in his fleet was a 1939 Chrysler Royal.

Carson’s 1939 Chrysler Royal

The 1939 Chrysler Royal used to symbolize people’s elegance at the time.

Carson drove it with grace and charm.

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Johnny Carson | Lifestyle and Vacations

Carson was quiet and shy off-camera, despite his outgoing personality on-screen.

He was noted for avoiding huge gatherings and was dubbed “a most private public figure who ever lived.”

The wealthy guy lived his days serving others and preserving his peace.

He married multiple times and has three children.

Johnny Carson’s Family (Source: Pinterest)

The affluent man led a privileged life.

He used to read seven newspapers every morning, seeking humor in current events.

Likewise, in order to stay physically fit, he exercised frequently and enjoyed a variety of sports like tennis, scuba diving, archery, and fencing.

Even though he has had various health problems, he has always managed to get up and fight back.

In his lifetime, the godfather of talk shows traveled nearly the entire world.

Despite the fact that he preferred to keep his life events and lifestyle private, the man relished every moment of his existence.

Johnny Carson | Charity

Throughout his life, Johnny personally gave millions of dollars to a wide range of causes.

Carson announced a $5.3 million commitment to the University of Nebraska Foundation in November 2004.

He hoped to help the Hixson–Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts Department of Theater Arts, which established the Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film.

Carson also supported charities in his hometown of Norfolk, such as the Carson Cancer Center at Faith Regional Health Services, the Elkhorn Valley Museum, and the Johnny Carson Theater.

He also made a contribution to the Northeast Community College Lifelong Learning Center in memory of his favorite teacher, Miss Faye Gordon.

Furthermore, when Johnny died, he bequeathed the majority of his money to the John W. Carson Foundation.

Prior to his death, Johnny had been giving the Johnny Carson Foundation annual donations ranging from $1 to $2 million.

When Johnny died, the foundation was informed that it was the beneficiary of a trust from Johnny’s estate.

The worth of the trust remained unknown for five years until his attorneys were compelled to declare the assets in an IRS tax return.

On August 30, 2010, the Johnny Carson Foundation found that the value of their trust fund was $156 million.

Within a few years, the foundation’s asset worth had risen to more than $200 million.

The foundation also left $4 million to the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.

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Johnny Carson | TV Shows, Investments and Books

TV Shows

Carson’s broadcasting career began in 1950 with WOW radio and television in Omaha.

He eventually became the host of The Squirrel’s Nest, a morning television show.

One of his routines entailed interviewing pigeons on the top of the local courthouse about the political corruption they had witnessed.

Carson hosted many series in addition to Carson’s Cellar, including the game show Earn Your Vacation in 1954 and the CBS variety shows The Johnny Carson Show from 1955 to 1956.

A Picture from Johnny Carson Show (Source: Pinterest)

In 1960, he was a guest panelist on the original, To Tell the Truth, eventually becoming a regular panelist from 1961 to 1962.

Carson’s popularity on ABC’s Who Do You Trust? caused NBC to approach him to take over the Tonight show a few months before Paar’s exit.

The show was ultimately titled “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”


The wealthy man had invested his wealth into different sectors.

Carson put $500,000 into the failed DeLorean Motor Company.

His other profitable business ventures included Johnny Carson Apparel, Inc.

He was also the leader of a group of investors that bought and ran two television stations.

The first was KVVU-TV in Henderson, Nevada, an independent station covering Las Vegas that the Carson family purchased in 1979.

Carson bought his second station, independent KNAT-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1982.

In 1985 and 1986, Carson sold both of his stations, KVVU-TV (FOX 5), to the James Meredith Corporation and KNAT to Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Book Publications

A multitalented personality is an encouragement to everyone.

His hardships, as well as his confidence and communication abilities, inspire many people to become like him.

Many books have been published in his honor.

The King of the Night Show, The Backstage at the Tonight Show, and Jonny Carson are some of the best-selling books.

Johnny Carson | Career

Carson was twelve years old when he discovered a book of magic and got captivated by it.

He bought a magic kit and started practicing. He aspired to become a magician.

Carson’s first paid performance was when he was fourteen years old, at the Norfolk Rotary Club.

He had a magician’s stand with “The Great Carson” written on a black velvet fabric draped over the front.

Carson attended the University of Nebraska after graduating from high school and serving in the military during WWII.

During his time there, he was involved in student theater activities and worked for a radio station in Lincoln.

Carson went on to work as an announcer at a television station in Los Angeles after graduating in 1949.

He was also granted a Sunday afternoon comedy program, which led to him being recruited as a writer for Red Skelton’s show.

In October 1962, Carson replaced Jack Paar as host of The Tonight Show as a host.

Despite some difficulties initially, he quickly gained confidence in handling interviews.

For the first year, the show got mixed reviews.

Carson, on the other hand, earned recognition and achieved a massive hit.

His show gave the chance for artists such as Jay Leno, Joan Rivers, Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Allen, Rosanne Barr, Ellen DeGeneres, and Drew Carey to showcase their talents.

He introduced several new ideas to the show, which still echoes in late-night shows today.

As all other talk show hosts happily agree, Johnny was irreplaceable since his retirement and remains the most beloved talk show presenter in television history.

Johnny Carson | Interesting Facts

  • Johnny had a brief career as a ventriloquist in his youth. His dummy’s name was “Eddie.”
  • He was an excellent drummer. Johnny once performed on The New American Bandstand as a substitute drummer.
  • Carson was a habitual smoker throughout his life. In fact, he routinely smoked on camera during the early days of the “Tonight Show.”


Who inherited Johnny Carson’s fortune?

Johnny acquired a significant fortune. However, when he died, he donated the majority of the wealth to the John W. Carson Foundation. His remaining wealth and property were divided among his widow and children.

Who currently owns Johnny Carson’s house?

Sidney Kimmel, a fashion tycoon and film producer, and his wife, Caroline, currently own Johnny Carson’s historic home in Malibu.

Why did Carson leave tonight?

Johnny took the talk show to the next level. However, his health issues made him weaker, and he decided to retire.

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