Bennet Omalu Net Worth 2022 – Salary, Income, Earnings

Bennet Omalu Net Worth

Bennet Omalu has an estimated net worth of $1 million. Bennet Omalu discovered Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in former football players, sparking years of denial from the NFL and the creation of a movie about his life’s work. He earns most of his work on medical research. 

Bennet Omalu received his medical degree from the University of Nigeria before continuing his education in the United States. In 2002, he discovered a degenerative disease in the brain of former NFL player Mike Webster and named it chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The NFL rebuffed his efforts to raise awareness of CTE, but mounting evidence eventually forced the league to make concessions. Will Smith played Omalu in the 2015 film Concussion, which portrayed the Nigerian-born doctor.

To calculate the net worth of Bennet Omalu, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets.

All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities. 

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Bennet Omalu
Net Worth: $1 Million
Monthly Salary: $15 Thousand
Annual Income: $200 Thousand
Source of Wealth: Medical Research

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Early Years and Career

Bennet Ifeakandu Omalu was born in Nnokwa, Nigeria, in September 1968, during the Nigerian Civil War. The conflict had forced his family to leave their gated compound in Enugwu-Ukwu, but they were eventually able to return and resume their comfortable lifestyle.

Omalu, the sixth of seven children born to a civil engineer and a seamstress, was a shy but talented student with a vivid imagination. He was admitted to the Federal Government College in Enugu when he was 12 years old and aspired to be an airline pilot. He did, however, begin medical school at the University of Nigeria when he was 15 years old.

After receiving his degree in 1990, Omalu interned at Jos University Hospital before being accepted into the University of Washington’s visiting scholar program in 1994. He then completed his residency at Harlem Hospital Center, where he discovered a passion for pathology.

Omalu moved to Pittsburgh in 1999 to train at the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office under noted pathologist Cyril Wecht. He completed a fellowship in neuropathology in 2002 and a master’s degree in public health and epidemiology in 2004 at the University of Pittsburgh.

Discovery of CTE 

Omalu examined the body of Mike Webster, a former NFL player with the Pittsburgh Steelers, while working at the coroner’s office in September 2002. Webster had exhibited troubling patterns of behavior prior to his death from a heart attack at the age of 50, and Omalu was curious what clues the former player’s brain would reveal.

Omalu discovered clumps of tau proteins in the brain after careful examination, which impair function when they accumulate. It was similar to “dementia pugilista,” a degenerative disease first observed in boxers decades ago, though it had not yet been linked to football players.

After consulting with top faculty members at the University of Pittsburgh, Omalu named the condition chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and submitted a paper to the medical journal Neurosurgery titled “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in a National Football League Player.”

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NFL Denial of CTE

The NFL’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) Committee demanded a retraction after the paper was published in July 2005, according to the editorial board of Neurosurgery.

Instead, Omalu continued his investigation into Terry Long, another former football player who committed suicide at the age of 45, and discovered the same buildup of tau proteins. In November 2006, his follow-up paper to Neurosurgery was published.

The MTBI Committee, the NFL’s mouthpiece, dismissed Omalu’s research as “flawed” and refused to acknowledge a link between the sport and brain damage in former players.

Dr. Julian Bailes, chairman of neurosurgery at West Virginia University School of Medicine and a former Steelers team physician, became an important supporter for Omalu. Omalu co-founded the Sports Legacy Institute (later renamed the Concussion Legacy Foundation) with Bailes and lawyer Bob Fitzsimmons to further CTE research.

Despite the NFL’s public evasion, Omalu and his supporters won when Mike Webster’s family received a substantial settlement in December 2006. The following June, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell convened a “concussion summit” with league doctors and independent researchers to discuss the issue, but Omalu was not invited.

Continued Studies and Movie

Omalu relocated to California in the fall of 2007 to begin his new job as chief medical examiner of San Joaquin County, but he continued his post-graduate studies at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned his MBA in 2008.

That same year, he released his first book, Play Hard, Die Young: Football Dementia, Depression, and Death, and he expanded the study of CTE to include athletes from other sports as well as war veterans.

By 2009, Omalu’s exhaustive research on the subject was bearing fruit. In the September issue of GQ, he was profiled, detailing his efforts to raise awareness of football-related brain injuries and the NFL’s refusal to cooperate.

Commissioner Goodell and other NFL executives were soon summoned to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, prompting an overhaul of the MTBI and rule changes to improve safety, as well as a lawsuit filed by thousands of former players against the NFL.

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Ridley Scott, a Hollywood power player, eventually came across Omalu’s story and hired Peter Landesman to write and direct a feature film, as well as convincing actor Will Smith to sign on for a starring role.

Concussion generated a lot of buzz before it was released on Christmas Day 2015, with Smith receiving praise for adopting Omalu’s distinct Nigerian accent and mannerisms for the role.

Concussion’s release served as the ultimate vindication for Omalu’s years of hard work, as well as a spotlight for other endeavors. He is the president of Bennet Omalu Pathology and an associate clinical professor of pathology at UC Davis Medical Center, in addition to being the chief medical examiner for San Joaquin County.

Bennet Omalu Quotes

“Repetitive head trauma chokes the brain! And turns man into something else.”


“All animals have shock absorbers built into their bodies. The woodpecker’s tongue extends through the back of the mouth out of the nostril, encircling the entire cranium. It is the anatomical equivalent of a safety belt for its brain. Human beings? Not a single piece of our anatomy protects us from collisions.”


“A human being will get concussed at sixty G’s. A common head-to-head contact on a football field? One hundred G’s.”


“God did not intend for us to play football.”


“I solved the problem. All they have to do is put on the side of the helmet, ‘The Surgeon General has determined that playing football is hazardous to your health’.”

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