The Top 10 Richest Dead Celebrities In The World 2011

Celebrities are notorious money-making machines. In addition to their fame, most have bank balances bursting at the seams. But what happens when a celebrity passes away?

In many cases a celebrity will become even more famous after their death. The increase in fame will lead to an increase in royalties earned by their Estate. Dead celebrities will very often keep earning millions of Dollars long after they have passed away. The wealth earned being divided up amongst their Estate and family members, managing agents, marketing companies and charities.

Top 10 Dearly Departed Money Makers

1. Michael Jackson: $170 million

2. Elvis Presley: $55 million

3. Marilyn Monroe: $27 million

4. Charles M. Schultz $25 million

5. John Lennon: $12 million

6. Liz Taylor: $12 million

7. Albert Einstein $10 million

8. Theodor Geisel $9 million

9. Jimi Hendrix  $7 million

10. Stieg Larsson author $7 million

King Of Pop Tops Dead Celeb Earners

As one can see from the above list, Michael Jackson is by far the biggest earning dead celebrity, having earned more than 3 times the amount of the 2nd placed celebrity, Elvis Presley.

This immense wealth was largely generated by a huge spike in sales of his back catalogue of albums following his June 2009 death. Other revenue streams included the re-release of his autobiography, "Moon Walk," and the $250 million worldwide box-office receipts of his tour rehearsal film "This Is It!”

Surprising Inclusions On The List

Some celebrities on this list may not be particularly surprising, such as Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley. But there are others on the list that we consider really are quite unbelievable, such as:


Richest dead celebrities

Charles M. Schultz – Creator of the Peanuts comic strip featuring the famous characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Peanuts ran for almost 50 years without interruption appearing in over 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries

Theodor Geisel – Better known as ‘Dr. Seuss’ he published 46 children's books, characterized by crazy characters and imaginative rhyme. He is most famous for his books ‘Cat in the Hat’, ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ and ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’.

Albert Einstein – The father of modern physics, his estate earns money by licensing his likeness across movies, toys, 'Baby Einstein' products and brain games.

Stieg Larsson - A Swedish journalist and writer, best known for his ‘Millenium series’ of crime novels. All 3 of the Millenium series novels were published after his death and have sold over 27 million copies in more than 40 countries.

Big Earners From Beyond The Grave

For some this may appear a grisly or morbid topic but the reality is clear: dead celebrities rank as some of the biggest earners in the world today. Back catalogues of music, published writing and licensable images and other intellectual property have kept these celebrities’ beneficiaries in a style they must have grown very accustomed to.

If you have any thoughts about the above article or the celebrities on the list why not leave a comment? You can find more interesting news items on about the rich & famous including the world's wealthiest football players, Apple's founder Steve Jobs and the best investor in the world, Warren Buffet.


Posted by Mukesh Kumar (13/12/2011)


Posted by Samson (14/12/2011)

Celebrities are not made in a day but after many years in the limelight of success in their individual fields. The wealth they amassed lives on and increases even after they leave this world. It takes lots of years of hard work and commitment to become a celebrity. Kudos to all the celebrities living and dead.

Posted by Kemanguluko (14/12/2011)

M.J. Heavy moola maker. I could be one if i win the lotto....:-)

Posted by Felhix Olokani (14/12/2011)

Sure after a tiresome effort during their lifetime, celebrities make themselves famous because of this good work and effort as a result they are considered as roll models in their societies and world at large. Why do they accumulate wealth way after their death? for example in my country when such a famous person dies many people would want to go and pay their last respect to the departed one for themselves and not just hearing but physically present. What happens when it is a distance to the place people scramble for whatever work he/she put up before the death to act as a remembrance so how cheap or expensive the item may cost but one would want remember a celebrities work so much so that the items left behind are sold and they bring alot of money because people want to talk on the same level, same understanding same respect to the celebrity. but secondly how the celebrity has died also contributes to the increase in the sales of items of a deceased estate to help the left next of kins. I surely would not want to leave alot of millions behind but I think my time to win alot of millions will be this time when I am energetic so that I can put to maximum usage and leave not huge wealth behind

Posted by 75Ev (14/12/2011)

Steve Jobs and the King Of Pop, huge money makers

Posted by Todor (15/12/2011)

No business like show business )) the world is so colourfull becose people like MJ... Hala PlayHuge... goood luch to everybody ..

Posted by Krishnan (19/12/2011)

This goes to prove that celebrity status and the associated wealth do not give immortality. Moral! Help while alive, the needy and poor and less fortunate so that one's name becomes immortal!

Posted by Ionut (8/09/2014)

I want to be rich and Alive :d

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