Judge Judy is one of the most successful television characters in the US. As a TV personality, Judge Judy (Judith Sheindlin) reached a salary of $47 million a year, which, along with other earnings, made her in 2018, according to a Forbes estimate, the TV host with the highest earnings on the planet.
What is Judge Judy’s net worth?
At 80 years old, Judy Sheindlins has an estimated fortune of $440 million. The bold attitude that has endeared her to fans across the country has also translated into her business practices. Instead of negotiating a salary, she handed prospective employers a sealed envelope with her demands.
In a recent legal dispute with Rebel Entertainment Partners and Richard Lawrence involving her salary, which was increased to $47 million in 2009, she testified that she had conveyed her claims to her bosses and that she would have left CBS outright if she had not received the requested amount. Years after Judge Judy started (it debuted in 1996), she told CBS:
“We should be partners. I can do this program without you. Good luck, you can’t do it without me.”
Judge Judy rose to fame after being profiled by the New York Times and 60 Minutes, bringing her to the attention of television executives.
Judge Judy, by her full name Judith Susan Blum, was born in Brooklyn on October 21, 1942, and studied law at the American University Washington College where she was the only woman among 126 students. After graduating from college, she worked as a lawyer before becoming a judge in 1982. She developed a reputation as a tough woman and in 1993 appeared in the media, then appeared on “60 minutes” which led to the filming of a TV pilot. The episode was broadcast in September 1996 and the show became so popular that other television stations copied the format.
In 1965 Judy passed her bar examination and was hired immediately as a corporate lawyer at a cosmetics company. She was not satisfied with her job and after two years she quit to raise her two children. Judy worked as a family court prosecutor for 17 years starting in 1972. After that, she became the supervising judge in the family court system in New York and a judge in the criminal court. She dealt with child abuse and domestic violence cases.
In 1996 Judge Judy released the book “Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining” and soon after retired, with more than 20,000 cases heard.
After she gained national exposure with the “60 minutes” special, Judge Judy was proposed to appear in a reality courtroom show which would feature real cases with real rulings. She agreed with this offer and starting on September 16, 1996, appeared in her own court show, “Judge Judy”, until September 2019, when the show finished, after 24 seasons. The show constantly attracted around 10 million viewers per day and in 2019 this became the first TV series in a decade that had more daytime viewers than “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. According to a Reader’s Digest poll from 2013, Americans trusted Judge Judy more than the justices of the United States Supreme Court.
In 2015 Guinness World Records awarded Judge Judy for being the longest-serving judge in a courtroom-themed television program.
Judy Sheindlin has four Daytime Emmy Awards under her belt, including an honorary trophy, which was presented to her at the 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards.
Other projects and mass media appearances
During her career, Judge Judy had thousands of appearances in TV shows such as “Dateline NBC”, “Entertainment Tonight”, “20/20”, “The Wendy Williams Show”, “The Tonight Show”, “Larry King Live”, “The View” and many more.
In 1999, Judge Judy was one of the Miss America pageant jury members.
In 2000, Biography Channel aired a documentary about Judy’s life named “Judge Judy: Sitting in Judgement”.
In 2017, Judge Judy created a game show called “IWitness”, which ran only for six weeks.
Judy published six more books during her career after the success of her first book.
Judge Judy Salary
Judge Judy is one of the highest-paid television personalities in the world. She earned $47 million per year at the height of her syndicated show. In 2005 she earned $15 million per year. In 2010 she renegotiated her contract to nearly $50 million per year.
Judge Judy worked roughly 52 days a year when the syndicated show was airing. This means that she earned around $900,000 per workday.
In 2015, during her contract negotiations with CBS, Judy asked the company to give her the rights to her entire library of old episodes. CBS agreed with this demand.
This was a smart move for Judy as she made $147 million between June 2017 and June 2018, and the additional $100 million came from a one-time sale after CBS bought back all those old episodes.
Judge Judy’s Net Worth History
- 2009: $50 million
- 2010: $75 million
- 2011: $130 million
- 2012: $150 million
- 2013: $230 million
- 2014: $250 million
- 2015: $300 million
- 2016: $320 million
- 2017: $350 million
- 2018: $380 million
- 2019: $400 million
- 2020: $420 million
- 2021: $430 million
- 2022: $440 million
Judge Judy owns an imposing real estate portfolio worth around $100 million. However, her main residence, for tax purposes, is an ocean-view house in Naples, Florida, that is worth $13 million. She has another house in Naples which is valued at $11 million.
In 2007 Judy and her husband purchased a mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut for $13.2 million. Nowadays, this property is valued at more than $20 million.
In 2013 the couple purchased a 5-bedroom condo in Beverly Hills for $10.7 million.
Also, they own a New York City pied-a-terre that is worth $8.5 million.
Judy and her husband Jerry purchased a mansion in Newport, Rhode Island in August 2018 for $9 million.
In 1965, Judy married Ronald Levy, with who she had two children. However, they divorced after 12 years and in 1977 Judy married Judge Jerry Sheindlin. In 1990 they divorced but remarried again after one year. With Jerry, she has 3 stepchildren and 13 grandchildren.
In March 2011 Judy suffered a mini-stroke on the set of her show while she was going over a case.
Judge Judy supports marriage between any type of people.