J.D. Salinger Net Worth

December 10, 2023
3 mins read

J. D. Salinger was born as Jerome David Salinger on the 1st January 1919, in New York City, USA, and was an author best known for his bestseller entitled “The Catcher in the Rye” (1951), but published many more stories and books. Salinger’s career started in 1940 and ended in 1965. He passed away in 2010.

Have you ever wondered how rich J.D. Salinger was at the time of his death? According to authoritative sources, it has been estimated that Salinger’s net worth was as high as $20 million, an amount earned through his successful career as a writer. In addition to writing books, Salinger also worked for numerous magazines including The New Yorker, which improved his wealth.

J. D. Salinger Net Worth $20 Million

J. D. Salinger was born into a Jewish family, the son of Marie and Sol Salinger, who was a rabbi for the Adath Jeshurun congregation in Louisville, Kentucky, and worked as a kosher cheese salesman. Salinger grew up in New York with his sister Doris, and went to public schools on the West Side of Manhattan before moving to the private McBurney School in 1932. Later, J. D. went to the Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania, from where he graduated in 1936, and then enrolled at New York University, but dropped out the next year.

Salinger also studied at the Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, but didn’t stay for long, dropping out after only one semester and moving to the Columbia University School of General Studies in 1939. There, his writing mentor was Whit Burnett, a long-time editor of Story magazine, who released Salinger’s debut story entitled “The Young Folks” in 1940. He then wrote three more short stories: “Go See Eddie” (1940), “The Heart of a Broken Story” (1941), and “The Hang of It” (1941), before being drafted into the army, joining the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division during the World War II.

He was assigned to the counter-intelligence division, helping to interrogate prisoners thanks to his proficiency in German and French; he served in five campaigns, earning Staff Sergeant rank. Salinger continued to submit his stories, and some of them were published in The New Yorker magazine, such as “Personal Notes of an Infantryman” (1942), “The Long Debut of Lois Taggett” (1942), and “The Varioni Brothers” (1943). J. D. continued with “Both Parties Concerned” (1944), “Soft-Boiled Sergeant” (1944), “Last Day of the Last Furlough” (1944), and “Once a Week Won’t Kill You” (1944). When returned from the war, Salinger had many of his works rejected and unpublished, but he still managed to release “A Boy in France” (1945), “This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise” (1945), “Elaine” (1945), “The Stranger” (1945), and “I’m Crazy” (1945). By the end of the ‘40s, Salinger had written “Slight Rebellion of Madison” (1946), “A Young Girl in 1941 with No Waist at All” (1947), “The Inverted Forest” (1947), “Blue Melody” (1948), and “A Girl I Knew” (1948), which contributed to his net worth.

In 1951, Salinger’s biggest hit – “The Catcher in the Rye” – was published, and to date has recorded sales of over 10 million copies worldwide, making Salinger a multi-millionaire. Many film directors wanted to adapt the piece to the screen, but Salinger refused them all, including Samuel Goldwyn, Billy Wilder, Harvey Weinstein, and Steven Spielberg. In 1953, his second book called “Nine Stories” came out, and as the title suggests, it is composed of nine stories: “A Perfect Day for Bananafish”, “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut”, “Just Before the War with the Eskimos”, and “The Laughing Man”. Other stories from the book are “Down at the Dinghy”, “For Esmé—with Love and Squalor”, “Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes”, “De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period”, and “Teddy”.

In 1961, his next book “Franny and Zooey” was released, and in 1963, Salinger published “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction”. His last published work was the story called “Hapworth 16, 1924”, which was released in 1965.

Salinger actually continued to write, apparently just for his own pleasure, and is rumoured to have completed a further 15 novels, all going unpublished. Requests to publish biographies and adapt his books for films were also invariably refused.

Regarding his personal life, J. D. Salinger was married to Sylvia Welter from 1945 to 1947, and then married Claire Douglas in 1955 with whom he had two children, but they divorced in 1967. From 1988, he was in a marriage with Colleen O’Neill. Salinger struggled with unwanted attention, never liked the publicity and wasn’t interested in it, so in 1953 he moved from his New York apartment to Cornish, a small town in New Hampshire. J. D. died of natural causes in January 2010 in Cornish.

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.

At NetWorthPost, we strive to provide our readers with in-depth profiles that offer valuable insights into the worlds of business, entertainment, and beyond. Through meticulous research and captivating storytelling, we bring to light the remarkable journeys and successes of individuals who inspire and captivate us.

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