Bobby Riggs Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Bobby Riggs Net Worth 

Bobby Riggs had an estimated net worth of $10 million at his death. Bobby Riggs was an American tennis champion best known for facing women’s star Billie Jean King in the 1973 ‘Battle of the Sexes.’ He earned most of his income from his career as a tennis player. 

Bobby Riggs became the world’s No. 1 amateur tennis player after winning the Wimbledon singles, doubles, and mixed-doubles titles in 1939, and he later won three U.S. Pro singles titles. Riggs rose to prominence after challenging the top women’s players in 1973, losing the “Battle of the Sexes” match to Billie Jean King.

To calculate the net worth of Bobby Riggs, 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: Bobby Riggs
Net Worth: $10 Million
Monthly Salary: $70 Thousand
Annual Income: $1 Million
Source of Wealth: Tennis player

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Early Years and Career

Robert Larimore Riggs was born on February 25, 1918, in Los Angeles, California. The youngest son of a minister, he began playing tennis at age 11 and soon was taken under the wing of a prominent local player named Esther Bartosh. 

Riggs quickly rose to the top of the talent-packed Southern California tennis circuit. He won the U.S. junior title in 1935, and the following year he claimed the U.S. clay court championship. Standing just 5′ 7″, Riggs lacked the power of the game’s bigger players, but he nevertheless compensated with his quickness, ball placement and tenacity.  

A Top 10 amateur player by 1937, Riggs reached his first Grand Slam final at the French Open in 1939. He then went on to a magnificent sweep of Wimbledon, winning the men’s singles, doubles and mixed-doubles tournaments. Never shy about placing a wager, Riggs later claimed he bet on himself to win all three events, earning a payout of more than $100,000. 

Riggs followed by winning the 1939 United States National Championships, his dominant performance that year propelling him to the No. 1 ranking in the world. He added another mixed-doubles title at the U.S. Championships in 1940, and the following year he captured the tournament’s singles crown again. Turning professional around that time, Riggs lost three prime years of his career while serving in the U.S. Navy but returned to defeat Don Budge at the U.S. Pro Championships in 1946, 1947 and 1949. 

As his professional career waned, Riggs turned his attention to promoting and began working for the American Photograph Corporation in the 1950s. In 1967, he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. 

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‘Battle of the Sexes’ 

Riggs returned to the spotlight in 1973, publicly lobbying to play the top women’s tennis professionals. Margaret Court, the top-ranked women’s player, accepted his challenge first, and Riggs went on to easily defeat her in a match dubbed the “Mother’s Day Massacre.”

Riggs then focused on Billie Jean King, another champion and well-known advocate for women’s rights. King accepted a $100,000 winner-take-all match after Briggs baited her with a series of over-the-top sexist comments.

On September 20, 1973, over 30,000 fans packed the Houston Astrodome, while another 90 million watched the “Battle of the Sexes” on television. With their entrances, both participants embraced the spectacle: Riggs on a rickshaw flanked by “Bobby’s bosom buddies,” and King on a gold litter carried by the Rice University men’s track team. However, once the match began, the 55-year-old Riggs was unable to keep up with the 29-year-old King, and she cruised to a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 victory.

Theories about Riggs tanking the match for gambling purposes abounded at the time and for years afterward. Riggs, for his part, claimed that he had simply underestimated King, and his attempts to persuade her to rematch were turned down.

Later Years, Legacy and Movie

Riggs received more fame and financial opportunities as a result of the Battle of the Sexes than he had as a champion player. He got a good job as the resident tennis pro at a Las Vegas hotel and went on to have success on the men’s senior tour.

Despite the appearance of their rivalry, Riggs and King became good friends. They appeared on TV together and teamed up as doubles partners in a charity match against Elton John and Martina Navratilova in 1993. They allegedly spoke one last time before he died of prostate cancer on October 25, 1995.

The historic 1973 match has remained a cultural touchstone into the new millennium, with Ron Silver portraying Riggs in the 2001 television film When Billie Beat Bobby.

The story of the Battle of the Sexes was adapted for the big screen in 2017, with Steve Carell as Riggs and Emma Stone as King.

Further Reading

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