Most people know Steve Harvey best as the hilarious host of Family Feud, The Steve Harvey Morning Show, and the Miss Universe competition. But the 63-year-old comedian has had a long, storied career that goes all the way back to the 1980s. He also faced many hardships while trying to break into the entertainment business, including homelessness. Steve Harvey’s net worth may be enormous today, but this wasn’t always the case. The game show host worked hard to build his massive media empire. Here, we take an in-depth look at how the entertainer amassed his impressive fortune and answer the burning question, “What is Steve Harvey’s net worth”?
Steve Harvey Once Lived Out Of A 1976 Ford Tempo
Born in West Virginia on January 17, 1957, Steve Harvey grew up in Ohio. After graduating from high school, he attended both Kent State and West Virginia University before flunking out of school. He took on a string of odd jobs after this, trying everything from auto repair and carpet cleaning to selling insurance and boxing.
Eventually, Harvey ended up trying his hand at stand-up comedy. But success was anything but instant. During the late 1980s, the Family Feud star lived in his car for three years while traveling from gig to gig. Occasionally, a venue would provide him with a hotel, but most of the time he spent his nights sleeping in his trusted 1976 Ford Tempo and relying on gas stations and public swimming pools to shower.
Harvey himself admits that this was a very difficult time in his life and that he almost felt like giving up. “I have flunked out of college,” Harvey said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. “I’ve lived in a car. I’ve been homeless. I’ve been written off, told I wasn’t going to be nothing.”
“So I know what it is to have no money,” he continued. “I know what it is to start at the bottom. I know what it is to get back up. I know what it is to overcome. I know what it is to win. I know what losses feel like. I know what failure does — I know how to use it to your advantage.”
Steve Harvey’s First Big Break
Despite the crushing hardships, Harvey kept going. In the early ‘90s, after becoming a finalist in a national comedy search competition, he landed his first big gig as host of It’s Showtime at the Apollo. Similar to America’s Got Talent, the popular late-night NBC show featured singers and dancers performing in front of a live audience. The job was an excellent fit for Harvey, who was a funny, charming, and natural emcee. He went on to host the show for seven years—where he clearly fine-tuned his interviewing talents and ability to charm an audience!
While hosting It’s Showtime at the Apollo, Steve Harvey scored his own WB sitcom, The Steve Harvey Show, in 1996. He also continued to hone his stand-up career, teaming up with fellow comedians Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, and the late Bernie Mac for the “Kings of Comedy” tour, which began in 1998 and earned a whopping $18 million in its first year. It went on to became the highest-grossing comedy tour in history and was turned into the 2000 Spike Lee movie, The Original Kings of Comedy.
Building The Foundation Of Success With The Steve Harvey Morning Show
With his success growing steadily, Harvey moved on from It’s Showtime at the Apollo in 2000 and launched his own syndicated radio program called The Steve Harvey Morning Show—which is still on the air to this day! Over the next few years, the comedian figured out how to leverage his radio success to embark on even more lucrative media ventures, including variety shows, stand-up specials, and roles in feature films. In 2009, the host released the book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, which spent 64 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, 23 of which were in the number one spot.
The Family Feud Revival
Now a bonafide success story, Harvey was tapped to host Family Feud in 2010. The game show, which first aired in the 1970s and went through a string of unsuccessful revivals in the 2000s, hoped adding The Kings of Comedy star would boost its success. And they were right! Harvey’s awesome ability to effortlessly interact with contestants and make audiences laugh made him a perfect match and the show saw a major ratings spike after he took the helm.
In addition to becoming an indispensable part of the Family Feud franchise, Harvey is now the longest-running host in the show’s history, having surpassed Richard Dawson’s original nine-year run. The gig also earns Harvey an enormous paycheck, which is reported to be around $12 million a year. And clearly, the comedian was meant to host this show—he’s responsible for some of the most hilarious game show moments ever.
The Worldwide Media Empire Of Steve Harvey Global
Steve Harvey has slyly parlayed his many successes into a global media empire. In 2015, he co-created the NBC talent show Little Big Shots, which features kids showing off their talents in front of a live audience. Harvey hosted the show until he turned over the reins to Melissa McCarthy in 2020. The show also spawned a spin-off, Little Big Shots: Forever Young.
In 2017, Harvey united all of his brands under one umbrella called Steve Harvey Global (SHG). He acquired the rights to produce Family Feud internationally, which enabled him to launch (and host!) Family Feud Africa. SHG and its various brands continue to develop a wide array of digital content, films, and television programs—including New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey on Fox, which became the network’s most-watched NYE broadcast in 2017. Harvey has also invested in a number of other lucrative ventures, including a learning hub for entrepreneurs called Vault.
Steve Harvey’s Massive Net Worth
So what is Steve Harvey’s net worth? The exact number is tricky to determine, as there are discrepancies between sources. Celebrity Net Worth estimates his fortune to be $200 million (gulp!), while Wealthy Gorilla says it’s closer to $180 million. Whatever the true number (Harvey is involved in so many different projects, we can understand why a precise figure is elusive), it’s still an enormous amount of money—especially for someone who used to live in his car!
How Steve Harvey Spends His Money
Steve Harvey doesn’t take great pains to hide his wealth from the public. The Original Kings of Comedy star has a 37,000 square-foot mansion in Atlanta, an 11,000 square-foot palace in Los Angeles, a 5,500 square-foot penthouse in Chicago, and three enormous properties in Texas (among others). He also has an impressive car collection and reportedly spends $97,000 a month renting a luxe private jet.
But Harvey is also very smart with this money and reportedly re-invests a good portion of his fortune into real estate. That makes a lot of sense, considering the comedian’s humble beginnings and early-life struggles. He shows us that anything is possible when you work hard, believe in yourself, and learn how to turn your failures into success. As Harvey said in 2013 during a commencement speech at Alabama State University:
“In every single moment of adversity in your life, two things are going to happen: There’s going to be a lesson and there’s going to be a blessing. If you let the adversity crumble you, you will lay there and wallow in the failure, but life is 10 percent what happened and 90 percent what you’re going to do about it.”
The next time you face a setback and feel like giving up, just think of Steve Harvey!