Lenny Bruce Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Lenny Bruce Net Worth 

Lenny Bruce had an estimated net worth of $50 million at death. Lenny Bruce was an American stand-up comic and satirist who became a target for prosecutors and a poster boy for freedom of speech. He earned most of his income from his career as a comedian. 

Lenny Bruce began stand-up comedy at the age of 22 and achieved some success before joining the United States Navy during WWII. After receiving an honorable discharge, Bruce married and relocated to California, where he resumed his stand-up career, giving edgier, more controversial performances. Authorities quickly took notice of Bruce’s act and arrested him several times for obscenity. As his career progressed, Bruce became a symbol of free speech, but he succumbed to a morphine overdose in 1966.

To calculate the net worth of Lenny Bruce, 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: Lenny Bruce
Net Worth: $50 Million
Monthly Salary: $700 Thousand
Annual Income: $10 Million
Source of Wealth: Comedian

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Early Years

Lenny Bruce was born Leonard Alfred Schneider on October 13, 1925, in Mineola, New York, to divorced parents when he was five years old. He went to Wellington C. Mepham High School in Bellmore and ran away from home when he was 16 years old.

He worked on a Long Island farm for two years before joining the United States Navy, where he served aboard the USS Brooklyn in North Africa during WWII. Bruce received an honorable discharge after three years of service (for posing as a transvestite) and briefly returned to the Long Island farm before relocating with his mother, who now runs her own dance studio in New York City.

Stand-up, Marriage and a Leper Colony

At the age of 22, Lenny Bruce began the stand-up career that would define his life in a Brooklyn nightclub. Performances followed in the New Yorkand New Jersey area, and once he performed at an “amateur night” for $2 and a cab ride home. In 1948, Bruce won Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts show and began getting booked in bigger and better venues like the New York Strand and earning enough money to support himself.

In 1950, however, Bruce enlisted in the Merchant Marine and toured Europe. The following year he left the job to marry a stripper he had met and fallen in love with, Honey Harlow. To get away from stripping, Harlow worked on her singing and accompanied Bruce on stage during some of his performances. Bruce, who never tolerated a dull moment, soon started a fundraising organization to send money to a leper colony in New Guinea. When only $2,500 of the $8,000 Bruce raised went to New Guinea, authorities saw it as a criminal scheme, shut down the organization and arrested Bruce. The charges were reduced, and Bruce and Harlow moved to Pittsburgh, where they were involved in a serious car accident.

In 1953, the couple moved to Northern California, where Bruce resumed his stand-up career and began to explore darker themes that included harsh language and controversial topics. His daughter Kitty was born in 1955, but he and Harlow divorced soon after. Bruce’s reputation began to grow during this period, and he released live albums of his performances, such as The Sick Humor of Lenny Bruce (1958) and Togetherness (1958).

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The Controversy and the End

Bruce encountered difficulties as the 1960s progressed. He was arrested in the fall of 1961 for possession of prescription narcotics and obscenity while performing onstage. In 1962, he was acquitted of the latter charge, but the police began watching his shows. Also in 1962, the now-controversial comedian was barred from performing in Australia and arrested for drug possession and two separate obscenity charges, with figures such as Woody Allen, Bob Dylan, and Allen Ginsberg assisting him during the trial (in November 1964, a guilty verdict came in nonetheless).

The charges and convictions quickly reached a fever pitch. Among other things, Bruce was arrested in Los Angeles for drug possession and was barred from entering England and Scotland. With lawsuits and authorities following him and few job opportunities, Bruce declared bankruptcy in the fall of 1965. Bruce died of a morphine overdose in his Hollywood Hills home the following summer, on August 3, 1966, at the age of 40.

Further Reading

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