Johnny Carson Net Worth 2020, Biography, Early Life, Education, Career and Achievement

Johnny Carson Net Worth 2020, Biography, Early Life, Education, Career and Achievement

Johnny Carson Net Worth Johnny Carson was an American talk show host and cultural icon who had a net worth of $300 million. Johnny Carson was born on October 23, 1925, in Corning, Iowa and died January 23, 2005 in West Hollywood, California.

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Early Life, Family and Education:

Johnny was born in Corning, Iowa, on October 23, 1925, as John William Carson to a  power company manager, Homer Lloyd “Kit” Carson and his beautiful wife, Ruth Elizabeth (Hook) Carson – who was of Irish descent.

He grew up in different towns – Avoca, Clarinda, and Red Oak in southwest Iowa before moving to Norfolk, Nebraska at the age of eight where he began developing his entertainment skills. After Johnny found a book on magic at a friend’s place at the age of 12, he straightway, bought a magic kit and began practising his skills on friends and family members using card tricks.

He got the needed support early enough from his family, who didn’t shoo him off but encouraged him. In fact, his mom was one of his first biggest fans, at the age of 14, his mother sewed him a cape, and his first performance was staged in front of the local Kiwanis Club – where he debuted as “The Great Carsoni” and was paid $3 a show.

Many other performances soon followed at local picnics and country fairs. To earn additional money, Johnny got a part-time job at the Granada Theater where he worked as a movie usher selling Saturday Evening Post subscriptions from door-to-door.

As a high school student, Carson also developed his skill in comedy and writing by writing a humor column for the Norfolk High newspaper, he also contributed random notes of levity to the school’s yearbook.

It was not until after high school that Carson encountered Hollywood for the first time. Determined to try out his entertainment skills, Johnny hitchhiked to Hollywood but was arrested and fined $50 for impersonating a midshipman – well this story has often regarded as an apocryphal.

Personal Life:

Carson was married four times and divorced thrice. He was first married to Jody Wolcott from 1948 – 1963. Their union produced three sons, Richard, Charles, and Cory. (Richard, unfortunately, died in an auto accident in 1991).

In less than a year, he got married to Joanne Copeland and by 1972, they were divorced. His third marriage was to Joanna Holland— the couple got a divorce in 1983. After his third marriage failed, Carson remained unmarried until June 1987 when he married his fourth and final wife – Alexis Maas, they remained married until his death in 2005.


Carson joined the United States Navy in 1943, received a V-12 Navy College Training Program training at Columbia Universit and Millsaps College respectively. He was commissioned an ensign and assigned to the USS Pennsylvania in the Pacific. While in the Navy, Johnny was well known for his entertainment skills and for being a source of comic relief when needed.

After his discharge from the Navy, Carson entered the University of Nebraska where he bagged a degree in journalism with the intention of pursuing a career as a comedy writer. When he this wasn’t working out, he switched to radio and speech. He earned $1 a week writing comedy program on Lincoln’s KFAB radio station titled Eddie Sosby and the Radio Rangers.

Carson’s broadcasting career kicked off properly in 1950 after he bagged a B.A in Radio and Speech with a minor in Physics the previous year. He first began with hosting a morning program on Omaha’s WOW-TV, titled The Squirrel’s Nest. He also served as a disc jockey on the WOW radio. In no time, Johnny increased his earnings by taking up jobs as master of ceremonies (MC) at local church dinners, attended by some of the same politicians and civic leaders whom he had ridiculed on the radio.


The TV legend died in January 2005 at the age of 79. Carson who had been a chain smoker for many years announced in 2002 that he was suffering from emphysema.

Carson had a net worth of $300 million. Before he left The Tonight Show in 1992, his annual salary was $25 million and at his death, he left about $200 million to charity.

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