Top Earning Celebrities - Who are Dead

10/28/2011

Don't read ahead.  Instead, get out a pencil and piece of paper and write down who you think are the top dead celebrity income earners.  For bonus points, guess what their annual income was.

Forbes recently released its list of the fifteen top earning dead celebrities.  I guess the criteria was pretty simple ... you have to be dead and you have to be a celebrity, although I don't know how a celebrity was defined.  I would have thought George Steinbrenner would have made the list.  I mean, I know he is dead ... I'm just not sure if he qualifies as a celebrity. 

In any event, the celebrities who made it on the list earned a combined $366 million from October 2010 to October 2011. The top earners and their respective annual earnings are below:

  • Michael Jackson—$275 million
  • Elvis Presley—$55 million
  • Marilyn Monroe—$27 million
  • Charles Schulz—$25 million
  • Elizabeth Taylor—$12 million
  • John Lennon—$12 million
  • Albert Einstein—$10 million
  • Theodor Geisel—$9 million
  • Jimi Hendrix—$7 million
  • Stieg Larsson—$7 million
  • Steve McQueen—$7 million
  • Richard Rodgers—$7 million
  • George Harrison—$6 million
  • Bettie Page—$6 million
  • Andy Warhol—$6 million

Here is how I fared before I read the list.

I got Michael Jackson, Elvis and Marilyn in that order.  Not bad for a start, but then I fell apart.

Next, I put James Dean who didn't even make the list.  I didn't guess Steve McQueen and was actually surprised he made the list and Dean didn't.

I thought Paul Newman would have made the list, not so much for his acting (which I like), but more for his popcorn and salad dressing.

I knew Elizabeth Taylor and Jimi Hendrix would be somewhere on the list (I put Liz fourth and Jimi fifth).

I was surprised Janis Joplan didn't make the list.  

Charles Schulz I didn't guess, but when I saw his name I just shook my head because I should have known.

I didn't guess Albert Einstein, although I it makes some sense once I thought about it.

Theodor Geisel surprised me only because I don't know who he is.  Then I googled him and found out he was Dr. Suess.  That's a lot of green eggs and ham.

The same goes for Richard Rogers.  I didn't know who he was and had to google him.

Stieg Larsson surprised me, but my wife says those Dragon Tatoo books are pretty good.

I guess all the people who made the list are all in the 1% of income earners.  We don't want to raise their taxes ... these are the job creators.

Who did you think would've been on the list that wasn't?  E-Mail me and let me know.