Howard Stern, the outspoken American radio host and media personality, is estimated to be worth around $900 million. This wealth stems from his long-running, high-earning radio show, best-selling books, and various media ventures. He’s known for his controversial humor, celebrity interviews, and shock tactics, earning him both devoted fans and FCC fines. While his career has navigated ups and downs, Stern’s unwavering presence and business savvy have solidified his place as one of the highest-paid media figures.
|January 12, 1954
|Roosevelt, New York, USA
|Media personality, television host, author, actor
|1975 – Present
|Beth Ostrosky Stern (m. 2003)
|3 daughters: Ashley Jade Stern, Debra Jennifer Stern, Emily Beth Stern
|Ben Stern (father), Ray Stern (mother)
|Donald Stern (brother)
|14 Emmy Awards, 7 Billboard Music Awards, 3 Peabody Awards, and more
|Homes in New York City, Southampton, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida
|Collection includes a Ferrari 458 Italia, Rolls-Royce Phantom, and Bentley Continental GT
Table of Contents
What is Howard Stern’s Net Worth?
Howard Stern’s net worth is estimated to be around $900 million. Stern’s journey began in the 1980s, captivating local radio audiences with his outrageous humor and willingness to push boundaries. His success translated into lucrative contracts, with his peak terrestrial radio salary reaching a staggering $50 million annually. However, a desire for uncensored expression led him to SiriusXM in 2006, where he signed a revolutionary five-year deal worth a reported $500 million. This marked a turning point, not only in his career but also in the history of satellite radio. Subsequent renewals further increased his earnings, culminating in his current contract, estimated to be worth a jaw-dropping $130 million per year.
While “The Howard Stern Show” remains the cornerstone of his wealth, Stern has diversified his income streams throughout his career. His best-selling books, like “Private Parts” and “Miss America,” sold millions of copies, earning him substantial royalties. He has also dabbled in acting, appearing in films like “Private Parts” and “Rush Hour,” adding to his financial portfolio. Additionally, he launched successful merchandise lines and invested in various business ventures, further contributing to his net worth.
With an estimated net worth of $900 million, Stern enjoys a life of extravagance. He owns multiple luxurious properties, including mansions in Long Island and Florida, each equipped with amenities fit for a king. His car collection boasts high-end brands like Ferrari and Bentley, reflecting his passion for automobiles. Yet, amidst the opulence, Stern is known for his philanthropic endeavors, regularly donating to various charities and causes close to his heart.
Stern’s financial success transcends mere personal gain. His SiriusXM deal revolutionized the satellite radio industry, demonstrating the potential of uncensored content and attracting millions of new subscribers. Furthermore, his radio show, despite its controversies, has served as a platform for challenging societal norms and sparking important conversations. His influence extends beyond entertainment, impacting culture and media consumption patterns for decades.
Early Life and Education
Born on January 12, 1954, in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, New York, Howard Allan Stern wasn’t always destined for the spotlight. Son to Ben, a recording engineer, and Ray, an office clerk turned homemaker, his childhood unfolded in a modest household. He described himself as an awkward and solitary child, often feeling like an outsider.
However, within the four walls of their home, a spark ignited. Ben’s recording studio in the basement became young Howard’s sanctuary. Armed with a tape recorder, he honed his comedic voice, mimicking radio personalities and crafting his shows. This early exploration of audio storytelling sowed the seeds of his future career path.
Following a traditional path wasn’t in Howard’s playbook. While his peers aimed for prestigious colleges, he opted for Boston University, drawn by its renowned communications program. Yet, his average high school grades landed him in the College of Basic Studies, a detour before joining the main program.
Undeterred, Howard gravitated towards the campus radio station, WTBU. Here, he wasn’t just a student; he was a presenter, playing records, delivering news, and interviewing guests. More importantly, he co-hosted “The King Schmaltz Bagel Hour,” a comedy show that, despite early cancellation for a controversial sketch, showcased his growing confidence and unfiltered humor.
With a degree in communications in hand, Howard embarked on his professional radio journey. His first stop was WNTN in Massachusetts, followed by WCCC-FM in Connecticut. While these stints were short-lived, they provided valuable experience and exposed him to different audiences. However, his unconventional style, often pushing boundaries with humor and satire, clashed with station expectations, leading to exits.
In 1981, opportunity knocked in the form of WWDC-FM in Washington D.C. This became a turning point. Here, Howard found his groove, blending humor, irreverence, and audience interaction. His antics drew both fans and critics, laying the groundwork for the controversial persona that would define his career.
Howard Stern’s early life and education were more than just stepping stones to radio stardom. They reveal the intricate tapestry of influences that shaped his persona. His introverted childhood fueled his desire for connection and self-expression, finding an outlet in the microphone. His father’s recording studio ignited his passion for audio storytelling, while his college years honed his comedic voice and challenged societal norms.
Stern’s love story begins in 1975, meeting Alison Berns, a fellow Boston University student, through a mutual friend. Their connection blossomed quickly, leading to marriage in 1978, just as Stern’s radio career was taking off. Alison, described as grounded and supportive, became a central figure in his life, navigating the uncertainties of early fame alongside him. Their union brought forth three daughters: Emily Beth (1983), Debra Jennifer (1986), and Ashley Jade (1993). However, after 23 years of marriage, the pressures of Stern’s demanding career and personal struggles caused a rift, leading to their amicable separation in 1999 and subsequent divorce in 2001.
Following the divorce, Stern embarked on a journey of self-discovery, seeking therapy and introspection. In 2000, his personal life took a new turn when he met model and television personality Beth Ostrosky. Their connection proved to be strong, blossoming into a loving and supportive relationship. After seven years of dating, Stern proposed on his radio show in 2007, marrying Beth in a private ceremony the following year. Their union, devoid of children by choice, has been built on mutual respect, shared passions, and an unwavering commitment to animal welfare.
Both Howard and Beth Stern are passionate advocates for animals, dedicating significant time and resources to various causes. Their three homes serve as havens for rescued cats and kittens, with dedicated foster rooms providing temporary solace before finding permanent loving homes. This dedication extends beyond their personal space, with Stern using his platform to raise awareness about animal cruelty, advocating against specific companies and practices he deems harmful. His influence, combined with Beth’s tireless efforts, has made a significant impact on animal welfare initiatives.
While media attention often focuses on Stern’s professional persona, glimpses into his personal life reveal a multifaceted individual. He enjoys spending quality time with Beth, indulging in their shared love for travel, fine dining, and art collecting. Additionally, Stern maintains close relationships with his daughters, offering guidance and support as they navigate their paths in life. He is also known for his generosity, extending support to friends and colleagues in need, often going above and beyond to make a difference.
Philanthropy and Activism
The driving force behind Stern’s most visible philanthropic efforts is his wife, Beth Ostrosky Stern, a passionate animal rights advocate. Together, they’ve become the national spokespersons for North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal shelter. Since 2008, their dedication has translated into millions of dollars raised, countless adoptions facilitated, and immense awareness generated for animal welfare. Beth’s tireless work, hosting animal-related shows and specials, resonates with viewers, encouraging responsible pet ownership and challenging animal cruelty.
Their impact extends beyond North Shore. In 2019, the Sterns donated $5 million to build a state-of-the-art cat adoption center at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York City. Their efforts have garnered recognition, with Beth receiving the ASPCA Presidential Medal of Honor in 2020.
Beyond animals, Stern has been a steadfast defender of free speech and First Amendment rights. His career, peppered with censorship battles and FCC fines, reflects his unwavering commitment to open expression. Stern famously challenged the FCC’s decency rules in court, advocating for artistic freedom and pushing boundaries for radio content. Though his methods might be unconventional, his fight for free speech has resonated with many, ensuring diverse voices can be heard.
Military support forms another pillar of Stern’s philanthropic endeavors. He has visited troops overseas, hosted fundraisers for veteran charities, and spoken out against issues affecting their well-being. In 2011, he partnered with Wounded Warrior Project, an organization supporting injured veterans, raising over $1 million through on-air auctions and listener donations. His dedication to honoring those who served extends to individual stories, often highlighting veterans on his show and amplifying their experiences.
Stern’s philanthropic reach extends beyond these prominent examples. He has supported cancer research through partnerships with the Robin Hood Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He has contributed to disaster relief efforts, including Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the Nepal earthquake in 2015.
Assets and Investments
The cornerstone of Stern’s wealth lies in his legendary radio show. In 1990, he signed a groundbreaking $500 million contract with Infinity Broadcasting, catapulting him to the top of the radio earnings ladder. Subsequent deals with SiriusXM, where his show currently airs, have only inflated his income, netting him a reported $130 million annually. This colossal salary alone grants him the title of the highest-paid radio personality in the world.
Beyond his radio prowess, Stern’s wealth flourishes due to his well-honed investment strategies. Reports suggest he has meticulously allocated over $360 million to the stock market, showcasing a keen eye for potential. His portfolio boasts shares in industry titans like Coca-Cola, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, and Walmart, indicating his preference for stable, long-term growth. Additionally, he reportedly holds stakes in companies like Mastercard, Tesla, and Microsoft, demonstrating his willingness to diversify into emerging sectors.
Stern’s literary ventures have also contributed significantly to his financial standing. His autobiographical works, “Private Parts” and “Miss America,” became instant bestsellers, generating millions in royalties. These books not only cemented his literary prowess but also provided a lucrative revenue stream beyond radio.
Stern’s wealth translates into a lavish lifestyle marked by impressive acquisitions. His real estate portfolio boasts a sprawling $52 million estate in the Hamptons, complete with a tennis court, basketball court, and private movie theater. Additionally, his Manhattan penthouse apartment, valued at $20 million, offers breathtaking city views and luxurious amenities.
Stern’s collaborative spirit flourished from his earliest radio days. In the 1970s, his partnership with co-host Fred Norris proved instrumental in establishing his comedic style. Norris’s wry wit and sound effects mastery perfectly complemented Stern’s brash humor, crafting a dynamic duo that captivated listeners. Throughout the 1980s, the show expanded with iconic figures like Robin Quivers, Gary Dell’Abate, and Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling. These co-hosts added distinct layers to the show’s tapestry, providing comedic foils, insightful counterpoints, and engaging on-air personalities that resonated with listeners.
As Stern’s popularity soared, his interviews became major cultural events. His ability to elicit raw honesty and candid confessions from A-list celebrities like Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Bono drew massive audiences and generated international headlines. These collaborations transcended mere interviews, becoming unfiltered dialogues that offered glimpses into the lives and thoughts of the famous, forever etched in pop culture history.
Stern’s collaborative reach extended beyond the radio booth. He co-authored two bestselling books, “Private Parts” and “Miss America,” with writer Larry “Ratso” Sloman, providing intimate and often hilarious narratives of his personal and professional life. He ventured into filmmaking, collaborating with director Betty Thomas on the comedy “Private Parts,” a cinematic adaptation of his first book that garnered critical acclaim and box office success.
In 2006, Stern’s controversial move to SiriusXM marked a new chapter in his career. With greater creative freedom, he forged new partnerships with diverse talents. Singers like Bruce Springsteen and actors like Robert De Niro graced his show, offering insightful conversations and unique perspectives. Collaborations with musicians like Eminem and Megadeth showcased his musical influence, while his ongoing partnership with Robin Quivers remains a cornerstone of the show’s success.
In recent years, Stern’s collaborations have transcended entertainment, embracing social impact. He partnered with animal rights organization PETA, lending his voice to advocate for animal welfare. He collaborated with the Robin Hood Foundation, raising millions for various charities. These partnerships demonstrate Stern’s evolving worldview and his desire to leverage his platform for positive change.
Awards and Nomination
Stern’s ascent began in the 1980s, quickly grabbing attention with his outrageous antics on New York City radio airwaves. His controversial humor and edgy interviews resonated with a disaffected audience, propelling him to national syndication in 1986. This newfound platform became the launchpad for his signature blend of shock jock tactics and genuine conversation, attracting both praise and criticism.
The awards started rolling in during this period. He earned his first Billboard National Air Personality Award in 1988, the first of an unprecedented eight consecutive wins. This accolade, recognizing him as the top voice in syndicated radio, solidified his position as a major draw in the industry.
Further acclaim followed, including two American Music Award nominations (Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist in 1992 and Favorite New Pop/Rock Artist in 1993). These nominations, while outside the realm of radio-specific awards, showcased his broader cultural influence and mainstream appeal.
As the new millennium dawned, Stern’s focus shifted beyond shock value. His interviews became more nuanced, tackling serious topics with genuine curiosity and empathy. This evolution garnered the attention of institutions beyond the radio world.
In 2004, he received the prestigious Peabody Award, recognizing his “distinguished achievement and meritorious service” for his in-depth interview with Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. This award, traditionally bestowed on programs fostering public understanding and dialogue, highlighted the depth and impact of Stern’s evolving show.
Hollywood also took notice. His 2008 biopic, “Private Parts,” earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Made for Television. While he didn’t win, the nomination served as a testament to his ability to captivate audiences beyond the radio booth.
Despite his critical acclaim, Stern has maintained a somewhat ambivalent relationship with traditional award shows. He famously boycotted the Grammys for years, feeling his work didn’t fit their categories. However, his contributions to comedy haven’t gone unnoticed. He has received a total of six Grammy nominations, spanning categories like Best Spoken Word Album and Best Comedy Album. These nominations showcased the humor and wit that remained core to his work, even as his content evolved.
While the awards and nominations paint a picture of Stern’s achievements, they only tell part of the story. His true impact lies in his pioneering spirit and willingness to push boundaries. He paved the way for a new generation of radio personalities, encouraging open dialogue and challenging societal norms.
His influence extends beyond the airwaves. His interviews have become cultural touchstones, prompting public discourse on sensitive topics and launching the careers of numerous celebrities. His SiriusXM deal in 2004, valued at a staggering $500 million, redefined the economics of radio and paved the way for subscription-based content models.
Significant Life events
Born in Queens, New York, in 1954, Howard developed a fascination with radio early on. Inspired by his father, a recording engineer, he channeled his youthful awkwardness into creating his shows on tape recorders. This passion led him to Boston University, where he honed his skills at the campus radio station WTBU. After graduating in 1976 with a communications degree, he embarked on a journey through smaller radio stations in New England and New York, gradually developing his signature “shock jock” style.
1982 marked a turning point. Joining WXRK in New York City, Stern’s outrageous humor, celebrity parodies, and willingness to push boundaries quickly garnered him a loyal following. His show, “The Howard Stern Show,” became a must-listen for its unfiltered and often controversial content. By 1986, it was nationally syndicated, making Stern a household name and a lightning rod for criticism.
Stern’s impact transcended radio. In 1993, his best-selling autobiography, “Private Parts,” offered an uncensored glimpse into his life and career, further solidifying his cultural influence. His foray into politics in 1994, though unsuccessful, highlighted his commitment to free speech and individual rights. He continued to explore other mediums, appearing in films and hosting short-lived television shows.
Facing pressure from the FCC for increasingly explicit content, Stern made a bold move in 2004: migrating his show to Sirius Satellite Radio. This freed him from FCC regulations, allowing him to push the boundaries even further. The transition proved successful, attracting millions of new subscribers and solidifying Sirius’ position in the market.
While radio remains his core platform, Stern hasn’t shied away from new ventures. From 2012 to 2015, he served as a judge on the popular talent show “America’s Got Talent,” showcasing his sharp wit and insightful critiques. He released his third book, “Howard Stern Comes Again,” in 2019, reflecting on his journey and offering personal insights.
Beyond the outrageous persona, Stern has revealed a more reflective side in recent years. He has openly discussed his struggles with mental health, inspiring many to seek help. His relationship with his wife, Beth Ostrosky Stern, has become a cornerstone of his personal life, offering a glimpse into his softer side.
Impact and legacy
Stern’s journey began in the mid-1970s, his unconventional humor finding early footholds in small market radio stations. It was in 1982, however, when his career truly ignited with a move to WNBC in New York City. Here, Stern unleashed his unfiltered persona, pushing boundaries with irreverent humor, celebrity interviews, and outrageous stunts. His show garnered both passionate fans and vehement critics, often clashing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over content deemed indecent. But the notoriety only fueled Stern’s popularity, solidifying his status as a countercultural icon.
By the late 1980s, Stern had ascended to national prominence, syndicated across the country and dubbed the “King of All Media.” His show became a must-listen for millions, blending shock value with genuine comedic talent and insightful conversation. His interviews with A-list celebrities became legendary, often revealing their vulnerabilities and sparking cultural conversations. Yet, controversy remained his constant companion. FCC fines mounted, protests erupted, and even Congress held hearings on his content. Yet, through it all, Stern’s ratings soared, proving his audacity resonated with a sizable audience.
Facing increased pressure and financial restrictions, Stern made a bold move in 2006, leaving terrestrial radio for the then-fledgling Sirius Satellite Radio. The gamble paid off handsomely, attracting millions of subscribers and securing Stern’s financial future. While the content toned down somewhat, his core approach remained, now reaching a loyal and dedicated fanbase. Beyond radio, Stern explored film, television, and even Broadway, further solidifying his cultural imprint.
Howard Stern’s impact transcends mere shock value. He has revolutionized radio, paving the way for a generation of outspoken broadcasters. His unwavering commitment to free speech, though often contentious, has sparked important conversations about censorship and artistic expression. He has nurtured countless comedic talents, and his willingness to be vulnerable has fostered deeper connections with his audience.
However, one cannot ignore the criticisms. Critics point to his offensive humor, which they argue has normalized misogyny and bigotry. Some argue his influence has coarsened public discourse and contributed to a decline in civil dialogue.
What is Howard Stern’s Net Worth?
Howard Stern’s net worth is estimated to be around $900 million.
Where and when was Howard Stern born?
He was born Howard Allan Stern on January 12, 1954, in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York.
What was Howard Stern childhood like?
He describes his childhood as awkward and shy, finding solace in radio and mimicking voices.
Where did Howard Stern go to college?
He graduated from Boston University in 1976 with a degree in communications.
Is Howard Stern married?
Yes, he has been married to Beth Ostrosky Stern since 2008. He was previously married to Alison Berns from 1978 to 2001.
Does Howard Stern have children?
Yes, he has three daughters from his first marriage: Ashley Jade, Debra, and Emily.
What are Howard Stern hobbies and interests?
He is an avid photographer, and animal lover, and enjoys collecting cars and comic books.
Is Howard Stern involved in any charities?
Yes, he supports numerous charities, including animal welfare organizations, veterans’ causes, and cancer research.
Has Howard Stern spoken out on any social or political issues?
Yes, Howard Stern has advocated for various social and political causes throughout his career, often using his platform to raise awareness and spark discussion.
How did Howard Stern get into radio?
Howard Stern started working at his college radio station while studying communications. His early career took him to stations in Connecticut, New York, and Washington D.C.
When did “The Howard Stern Show” begin?
The show officially launched in 1986 on WXRK in New York City.
Why is Howard Stern so controversial?
Howard Stern’s show has been known for its shock-jock humor, pushing boundaries with adult content, crude language, and offensive jokes.
What did Howard Stern do after leaving terrestrial radio?
Howard Stern moved his show to SiriusXM satellite radio in 2006, signing a lucrative contract.
Who are some of Howard Stern’s most famous co-hosts and sidekicks?
Robin Quivers, Fred Norris, Gary Dell’Abate, Artie Lange, and Leslie Mann are just a few of the many personalities who have been part of his show.
Has Howard Stern collaborated with any musicians or celebrities?
Yes, he has interviewed countless celebrities and musicians throughout his career, and on occasion, collaborated on projects with some.
Has Howard Stern won any awards?
Yes, Howard Stern has received numerous awards, including Peabody Awards, Emmy Awards, and the Radio Hall of Fame induction.
Is Howard Stern considered one of the most influential radio personalities?
Howard Stern is widely recognized as one of the most influential figures in radio history, breaking ratings records and shaping the landscape of the medium.
Was Howard Stern ever censored or fined for his content?
Yes, Howard Stern show has been frequently penalized by the FCC for indecency violations, leading to hefty fines and battles with regulators.
Did Howard Stern ever appear in movies or TV shows?
He has acted in several films, including “Private Parts” based on his autobiography, and had his own TV show on E!.
Has Howard Stern written any books?
Howard Stern has published several books, including his autobiography “Private Parts” and “Miss America.”
What is Howard Stern’s legacy in radio?
He is credited with pushing the boundaries of content and challenging the status quo, influencing numerous radio personalities and shows.
Is Howard Stern still relevant today?
Despite the controversy, he remains a highly popular and successful media figure with a devoted fanbase, continuing to generate buzz and provoke discussion.
How tall is Howard Stern?
Howard Stern is 6 feet 5 inches tall.