Napoleon Hill Net Worth at Death – Is He A Scam? Exposed!

Napoleon Hill Net Worth 

Napoleon Hill had an estimated net worth of $10 million at death. He is considered the most renowned self-help and self-improvement author in the world. He was an advisor to several U.S. presidents: Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt. His book Think and Grow Rich is one of the best-selling business books, having sold 15 million copies worldwide.

He dedicated two decades of his life to interviewing successful men from different walks of life. He compiled his results in a number of books which won him his name, fame, and money.

In 1937, his then-wife Rosa helped him complete the book Think and Grow Rich. Published by Andrew Pelton, it became the greatest self-improvement book. Divorce gave Rosa all the royalties for the book.

However, Hill is a controversial figure in modern times. He is accused of fraud and modern historians also doubt many of his claims, such as that he knew Andrew Carnegie and that he was a lawyer.

To calculate the net worth of Napoleon Hill, 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: Napoleon Hill
Net Worth: $10 Million
Monthly Salary: $70 Thousand
Annual Income: $1 Million
Source of Wealth: Author

Early Life

Napoleon Hill was born in a one-room cabin near the Appalachian town of Pound in southwestern Virginia. His parents were James Monroe Hill and Sarah Sylvania (Blair) and he was the grandson of James Madison Hill and Elizabeth (Jones). His grandfather came to the United States from England and settled in southwestern Virginia in 1847.

Hill’s mother died when he was nine years old, and his father remarried two years later to Martha. His stepmother was a good influence on him: ” Hill’s stepmother, the widow of a school principal, civilized the wild child Napoleon, making him go to school and attend church.” 

At the age of 13, Hill began writing as a “mountain reporter,” initially for his father’s newspaper. 

At age 15, he married a local girl who accused him of fathering her child; the girl retracted the allegation and the marriage was annulled.


At the age of 17, Hill graduated from high school and went to Tazewell, Virginia to attend business school. In 1901, Hill accepted a job for attorney Rufus A. Ayers, a coal magnate, and former Virginia attorney general. 

Author Richard Lingeman said Hill got the job after agreeing to keep secret the death of a black bellhop accidentally shot while drunk by the previous mine manager.

Hill left his coal mine management job soon after and began law school before withdrawing due to a lack of funds. Later in his life, Hill would use the title “Lawyer at Law”, although Hill’s official biography notes that ” there is no record of him having performed legal services for anyone “.

Hill moved to Mobile, Alabama in 1907 and co-founded the Acree-Hill Lumber Company. In October 1908, The Pensacola Journal reported that the company was subject to bankruptcy proceedings and charges of mail fraud. 

The newspaper reported that Hill’s lumber company had purchased lumber from outside of Mobile, including other counties in Alabama and even Florida, before selling it “at a much lower price and, as far as is known at this time, has not paid out”.

In May 1909 Hill moved to Washington DC and founded the “Automobile College of Washington” where he taught students how to build, drive and sell automobiles.

The university built automobiles for the Carter Motor Corporation, which went bankrupt in early 1912. In April 1912, the automobile magazine Motor World accused Hill’s university of being a fraud and using misleading marketing materials that were “a joke to anyone of average intelligence.” Hill’s faculty ceased operations that same year.

In June 1910, while running his automotive college, Hill married his first wife, Florence Elizabeth Horner. 11 The couple had their first son, James, in 1911, a second son named Napoleon Blair in 1912, and a third son, David, in 1918.

After closing his automotive school, Hill moved with his wife’s family to Lumberport, West Virginia. He later moved to Chicago and took a job at LaSalle Extension University before starting a candy business together, which he called the Betsy Ross Candy Shop.

In September 1915, Hill established and served as dean of a new school in Chicago, the “George Washington Institute of Publicity”, where he intended to teach the principles of success and self-confidence. 

On June 4, 1918, the Chicago Tribune reported that the State of Illinois had issued two arrest warrants for Hill, who was charged with violating the law by attempting to fraudulently sell stock in his school, capitalized at $100,000, even though the school’s assets were $1,200. The school was dissolved soon after.

Later in his life, Hill said he spent this time advising President Woodrow Wilson in the midst of World War I; however, there is no reference in White House records to his presence there.

After the demise of the George Washington Institute, Hill ventured into several other business ventures. He founded several personal magazines, including Hill’s Golden Rule and Napoleon Hill’s Magazine. In 1922, Hill also established the Intra-Wall Correspondence School, a charitable foundation designed to provide educational materials to prisoners in Ohio. 

The foundation was headed, among others, by former check forger Butler Storke, who would be sent back to prison just a year later. 15 According to Hill’s official biography, hundreds of documents linking Hill to various famous people were also destroyed in a Chicago bonfire during this period.

Awards & Achievements

Hill coined the term “master mind.” He was awarded an honorary doctorate (Litt.D.) by Pacific International University for developing the mastermind concept and other principles of success.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1910, Hill married Florence Elizabeth Hornor. They had three sons, James, Napoleon Blair, and David. The ups and downs of his career had him moving from place to place, leaving his family behind. In 1935, his marriage to Hornor was divorced.

Two years later, in Atlanta, he met and married 29-year-old Rosa Lee Beeland. She helped him complete “Think and Grow Rich!” The widening rift between Rosa and Hill ended in divorce. He was bankrupt after a prenuptial agreement awarded Rosa virtually all the royalties for “Think and Grow Rich!”.

He became friends with Annie Lou Norman. She worked for Jacobs Press, and they both lived in the same building. They married in 1943 and moved to California, where he took up a teaching position.

Napoleon Hill Books

The laws of success

In 1928 Hill moved to Philadelphia and convinced a Connecticut-based publisher to publish his eight-volume work The Law of Success (1925). The book was Hill’s first major success, enabling him to live an opulent lifestyle. By 1929, with the help of some lenders, he had purchased a Rolls-Royce and a 600-acre (240-hectare) property in the Catskill Mountains.

However, the onset of the Great Depression took a heavy toll on Hill’s finances, forcing his Catskills estate into foreclosure before the end of 1929.

Hill’s next published work, The Magic Stairway to Success (1930), proved to be a commercial failure. Over the next few years, Hill travelled the country, reverting to his habits of the previous decade as he established several short-lived business ventures. In 1935, Hill’s wife Florence filed for divorce in Florida.

Think and grow rich

In 1937, Hill published the best-selling Think and Grow Rich, which became Hill’s best-known work. Hill’s new wife, Rosa Lee Beeland, contributed significantly to the writing and editing of the book. 

Hill’s biographers later said the book sold 20 million copies in 50 years, although Richard Lingeman, in his short biography Alice Payne Hackett’s 70 Years of Best Sellers, suggests the number was considerably less.”

Wealthy again, Hill resumed his lavish lifestyle and bought a new estate in Mount Dora, Florida. The couple divorced around 1940, and much of the book’s wealth went to his wife, Rosa Lee Hill, allowing Napoleon Hill to once again set out on a quest for success.

Napoleon Hill Quotes

Fears are nothing more than a state of mind.


Set your mind on a definite goal

and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.


Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage.

Mind control is the result of self-discipline and habit. You either control your mind, or it controls you.

There is no half-way compromise.


You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment.

You can make your life what you want it to be.


Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one

when success is almost within reach.


All achievement, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea!

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