Betty Shabazz Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Betty Shabazz Net Worth

Betty Shabazz had an estimated net worth of $1 million at death. Betty Shabazz is best known as the wife of African American nationalist leader Malcolm X, who was assassinated in New York City in 1965. She earned most of her income from her work as an associate professor and university administrator. 

Betty Shabazz married Nation of Islam spokesman Malcolm X in 1958. After her husband’s assassination in 1965, Shabazz embarked on a career in university administration and activism. She died June 23, 1997, from injuries sustained in a fire.

To calculate the net worth of Betty Shabazz, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she 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 her net worth:


Betty Shabazz

Net Worth: $1 Million
Monthly Salary: $12 Thousand
Annual Income: $150 Thousand
Source of Wealth: University administrator, Associate Professor

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Early Life

Betty Dean Sanders was born on May 28, 1934, to teenaged Ollie Mae Sanders and Shelman Sandlin. Betty may have been born in Pinehurst, Georgia, despite spending most of her childhood in Detroit.

Betty moved in with businessman Lorenzo Malloy and his wife, Helen, when she was 11 years old. Helen Malloy was a local activist who organized boycotts of African American-owned businesses.

Betty attended the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama after graduating from high school. She was shocked and frustrated by the extreme racism she encountered in the Jim Crow South.

She left Alabama in 1953 to attend the Brooklyn State College School of Nursing in New York City. While less overt, Betty was deeply affected by the racism she witnessed in New York.

Nation of Islam

Betty was invited to a dinner party at the National of Islam temple in Harlem by an older nurse’s aide during her second year of nursing school. She had a good time but declined to join the organization at the time.

Sanders met Malcolm X, her friend’s minister, during her next visit to the temple. Betty started going to Malcolm X’s services. She became a Christian in 1956, changing her surname to “X” to symbolize the loss of her African ancestors.

Betty and Malcolm X married in Michigan on January 14, 1958. The couple ended up having six daughters. Malcolm X announced his family’s departure from the Nation of Islam in 1964. He and Betty X, now Betty Shabazz, converted to Sunni Islam.

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The Assassination of Malcolm X

Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965, while giving a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City. Shabazz sat near the stage with her daughters in the audience.

Angry bystanders apprehended and beat one of the assassins, who was arrested on the spot. Two more suspects were identified by eyewitnesses. All three men, Nation of Islam members, were convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Later Life

Shabazz never married again. She raised her six daughters on her own, with the help of annual royalties from her husband’s book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and other publications.

Shabazz graduated from Jersey City State College in late 1969, followed by a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts.

She then accepted a position as an associate professor of health sciences at Medgar Evers College in New York. Until her death, she worked as a university administrator and fundraiser.

For many years, Shabazz and her family suspected the Nation of Islam and its leader, Louis Farrakhan, of planning her husband’s assassination. Qubilah Shabazz, Shabazz’s daughter, was charged in 1995 with hiring an assassin to kill Farrakhan. Farrakhan reached out to the family to defend Qubilah, prompting Shabazz and Farrakhan to reconcile publicly.

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While Qubilah was in rehab, she sent her 10-year-old son, Malcolm, to live with her mother in New York. Malcolm set fire to Shabazz’s apartment on June 1, 1997.

Shabazz died on June 23, 1997, from severe burns. Malcolm Shabazz was detained as a juvenile for manslaughter and arson.

Shabazz is buried alongside her husband in Hartsdale, New York’s Ferncliff Cemetery.

Further Reading

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