J. R. R. Tolkien Net Worth

May 18, 2023
2 mins read

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on the 3rd January 1892, in Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa, and passed away at the age of 81 on the 2nd September 1973 in Bournemouth, England. He was an English philologist, scholar, poet and writer, who is widely known as the author of the legendary, fantasy saga novels about the Middle-earth – “The Hobbit”, “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Silmarillion”.

Have you ever wondered how much wealth the creative and unique mind of J. R. R. Tolkien and his immortal legacy have accumulated to this day? How rich J. R. R. Tolkien would be nowadays? It is estimated that the total net worth of J. R. R. Tolkien, as of mid-2016, would be over $500 million. This huge sum is a result of the great value of his literary artworks and the movie adaptations based on them.

J. R. R. Tolkien Net Worth $500 Million

J. R. R. Tolkien was born to Arthur Reuel Tolkien and Mabel Suffield Tolkien. After the death of his father, at the age of four Tolkien alongside his mother and his younger brother, moved to Birmingham, England,. He attended King Edward’s School and St Philip’s Grammar School in Birmingham before enrolling at Exeter College, Oxford from which he graduated in 1915 with first-class honors in English Language and Literature.

Immediately after graduation, Tolkien joined the British troops in France during World War I. He arrived in France in 1916 as a lieutenant of the Lancashire Fusiliers, and to overcome boredom while awaiting orders for his regiment, Tolkien wrote a poem, The Lonely Isle. To overcome the British Army’s postal censorship, Tolkien also developed a special code which he used to send letters to his wife.

During the Battle of the Somme, the largest battle of WWI and one of the bloodiest in the history of human kind, Tolkien got trench fever, and as medically unfit, spent the rest of the war in various hospitals removed from combat, but he continued to fulfill different home service duties. While recovering in a small cottage in Staffordshire, Tolkien began writing “The Book of Lost Tales”. After demobilizing from the army in 1920, J. R. R. Tolkien began working at the Oxford English Dictionary, and then as a professor – the youngest – at the University of Leeds which provided the basis for his net worth.

To amuse himself, Tolkien began writing fantasy tales, set in a world of his own creation which was later gathered and published as The Silmarillion – a comprehensive encyclopedia of Middle-earth. In 1937, J. R. R. Tolkien published The Hobbit – a fantasy novel picturing the life of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, (hobbits are creatures similar to men, but smaller and hairy-footed) and his dragon’s treasure quest which also included wizards, dwarves and, obviously, a dragon. The book included over 100 illustrations by Tolkien himself, and although initially published as a children’s book, it quickly gained so much popularity among adults that the publisher requested a sequel. This success certainly added a significant sum to Tolkien’s net worth.

While subsequently serving as a codebreaker and cryptographer during WWII, Tolkien began working on his masterpiece, “The Lord of the Rings” saga. Located in the Middle-earth abundant with its own maps, languages and lore, the trilogy containing “The Fellowship of the Ring”, “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King”, tells the story of the heroic battle between good and evil, featuring several races including men, elves, dwarves, hobbits, orks and wizards. The depth and uniqueness of Tolkien’s creation lives to this day, with an undiminished strength. The series gained even more popularity after eponymous Peter Jackson’s movie adaptations in 2001, 2002 and 2003 with over $1 billion takings at the box office.

In his persoal life, J. R. R. Tolkien was married to his teenage love, Edith Bratt with whom he had four children. His youngest son, Christopher Tolkien has edited and posthumously published some other literary works of his father, including The Silmarillion, The Children of Húrin as well as the 1920 translation of Beowulf and several others.

Although he was not the first to write fantasy novels, J. R. R. Tolkien is today considered as the father of “modern fantasy literature”. In 2008, The Times magazine enlisted him in The 50 Greatest British Writers since 1945 at No.6.

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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