David E. Kelley Net Worth

June 17, 2023
2 mins read

David Edward Kelley was born on 4 April 1956, in Waterville, Maine USA, the son of Jack Kelley, who served as the coach of New England Whalers hockey team and as the president of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He is a television writer and producer, well known for creating several television series including “L.A. Law”, “Picket Fences”, “Chicago Hope”, “The Practice”, “Ally McBeal”, “Boston Public”, “Boston Legal” and “Harry’s Law”.

So just how rich is David Kelley? According to sources, Kelley has amassed a net worth over $250 million, as of mid-2016, accumulated during his screenwriting and producing career now spanning over 30 years.


David E. Kelley Net Worth $250 Million


Kelley grew up in Belmont, Massachusetts, where he attended the Belmont Hill School. Upon matriculating, he enrolled in Princeton University, majoring in political science. After his graduation in 1979, he attended Boston University Law School, earning his J.D. in 1983. He later began working at a Boston law firm, where he largely dealt with real estate and minor criminal cases.

In 1983 Kelley began writing a screenplay based on some of his experiences in law. After optioning the script in 1986, he obtained an agent, and his story turned into the 1987 film “From the Hip”. Around the same time, the script came into the hands of Steven Bochco, who hired Kelley as a story editor for his new series “L.A. Law”, eventually upgrading his position to executive story editor, co-producer, and then to executive producer. The series became extremely successful, earning Kelley two Emmys for writing; he left the show in 1991, but meanwhile, along with Bochco, he created the series “Doogie Howser, M.D.” that ran on ABC from 1989 to 1993. His net worth was rising nicely.

Starting his own production company in 1992, Kelley created his own series, “Picket Fences” for CBS, which won 14 Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. His second series for CBS was the medical drama “Chicago Hope”, which ran from 1994 to 2000, earning seven Emmy awards. Again, all added to Kelley’s net worth.

In 1995 he signed a five-year deal with 20th Century Fox Television to produce two series: “Ally McBeal for FOX and “The Practice” for ABC, both shows focusing on Boston law firms, however, in different ways. “The Practice” aired from 1997 to 2004 and “Ally McBeal” from 1997 to 2002, receiving high praises and winning numerous awards, which made Kelley the first producer to win Emmy and Golden Globe Awards in both the Outstanding/Best Drama Series and Outstanding/Best Comedy Series categories in the same year. His wealth was boosted again.

After extending his arrangement with 20th Century Fox Television in 2000, Kelley became the highest-paid producer in TV history, earning around $40 million a year. The same year he created “Boston Public”, the series which didn’t follow the success of Kelley’s previous works, but was a modest hit nevertheless. He achieved minor success with his next several series, “Girls Club”, “The Brotherhood of Poland”, “New Hampshire” and the reality show “The Law Firm”. However, his next project “Boston Legal”, a spin-off of “The Practice”, which lasted from 2004 to 2008, enjoyed astonishing popularity, winning seven Emmys and considerably adding to Kelley’s net worth.

In 2008, he signed a deal with Warner Bros. Television. In 2011 he created the legal drama “Harry’s Law”, which became the network’s second most-watched series. After its cancellation in 2012, Kelley went on to create the series “Monday Mornings” for TNT and then “The Crazy Ones” for CBS. However both series were soon canceled. He is currently working on a new series called “Goliath”, announced to be released in fall 2016, no doubt looking to lift his net worth further.
As a screenwriter who has created series aired on major networks, Kelley has established a spectacular reputation in the television industry, and a significant fortune as well.

In his personal life, Kelley has been married to actress Michelle Pfeiffer since 1993. The couple has two children, including a daughter which Pfeiffer adopted several months before the couple married.

Daniel Wanburg

As the Managing Editor at Net Worth Post, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications.

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