Ellen DeGeneres has been on TV screens and stand-up stages for nearly 40 years as a comedian, producer, actress, and television host. She’s best known for the sitcom Ellen and the syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which was wound up in 2022 after making her extremely wealthy. In 2024, Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth is estimated to be over $600 million.

At the peak of her career on the small screen, DeGeneres earned tens of millions in salaries from her talk show alone, not to mention the fortune she earned from endorsements, hosting roles, and her business investments.

Keep reading to learn more details about the story of host Ellen DeGeneres and how she came to accumulate such high wealth.

Ellen DeGeneres’ Net Worth Breakdown:

Ellen DeGeneres’ wealth is difficult to pinpoint at any given moment due to the vast and diverse nature of her income sources. These include TV contracts, endorsements, business ventures, book sales, production projects, and more.

After thorough research, we’ve identified the primary sources of the TV host’s wealth over the years. While her salary for The Ellen DeGeneres Show is commonly reported to be $50 million annually, this figure is most likely an estimate for recent years and does not necessarily reflect her earnings since the show’s inception.

The net worth breakdown below highlights her main assets and earnings over time, though some details remain undisclosed to the public.

Asset or Income Source Contribution to Net Worth
The Ellen DeGeneres Show earnings $50+ million per year
Instagram earnings $53 million per year
Netflix standup special $20 million
Real estate assets $70 million
Real estate income $85+ million per year
Car collection $1 million
Other TV and writing work Undisclosed
Total Net Worth $600 million

Ellen DeGeneres Net Worth: Early Life, Education, and Family

Ellen Lee DeGeneres was born in Metairie, Louisiana, on January 26, 1958. She was born into a family of four with parents Elizabeth and Elliott working as a speech therapist and insurance agent, respectively. Her brother, Vance DeGeneres, is a musician, producer, and comedian, and was once a correspondent on The Daily Show.

When Ellen DeGeneres was 16 years old, her parents divorced, after which her mother remarried and moved with Ellen to Atlanta to live with her new husband, while Vance remained to live with his father.

At around this time, Ellen DeGeneres was molested by her stepfather Roy Gruessendorf, who used her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis as an excuse to touch his stepdaughter inappropriately. At a point when he tried to sexually assault her, Ellen ran away from home, spending the night at the hospital. Even though Ellen told her mother of the abuse a few years later, her mom did not believe her, remaining married to Gruessendorf for 18 years.


Following Ellen Degeneres’ interview with David Letterman on his Netflix series, in which she discussed this period of her life, her mother shared in a statement:

“I know now that one of the hardest things to do is to speak up after being sexually abused,” Betty said. “I love my daughter, and I wish I had the capacity to listen to her when she told me what happened. I live with that regret, and I wouldn’t want that for any other parent. If someone in your life has the courage to speak out, please believe them”


Before she moved to Atlanta, DeGeneres studied at Grace King High School in Metairie, but changed schools after she moved with her mother. She graduated from Atlanta High School in 1976 and moved back to New Orleans to study at Tulane University.

At the university, DeGeneres chose a Communication major. However, after a single semester, she decided to drop out of school and start working at a law firm, doing clerical work with her cousin Laura Gillen.

Personal Life

Back in 1997, Ellen DeGeneres came out as gay. This happened at a time when it was common for those in entertainment hid their sexual orientation, so her announcement sparked a lot of interest in US tabloids. The media coverage was so broad that it stunted her professional career for a period, making her depressed.

ellen degeneres coming out media

The same year she announced her sexual orientation, DeGeneres started a public, romantic relationship with Anne Heche, an actress, which lasted until 2000. She then dated photographer Alexandra Hedison, appearing frequently in the media.

In 2004, DeGeneres started dating actor Portia de Rossi, who later became her wife. Following the overturn of the same-sex marriage ban in California, the two were engaged and married in 2008 at their home in Beverly Hills, where they currently live.

ellen degeneres and portia de rossi

In 2010, Ellen’s wife Portia De Rossi filed a petition to change her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres, which was granted in September of the same year.

Ellen DeGeneres Net Worth: The Talk Show Host’s Incredible Career on Screen

Ellen DeGeneres dropped out of school soon after enrolling to start working. Her beginnings were modest. She initially worked at a law firm with her cousin, followed by a short stint at J.C. Penney, after which she took smaller gigs including a house painter, hostess, waitress at TGIFridays, and a bartender.

Soon enough, she was ready to embark on a career path she was passionate about, doing stand-up comedy at small clubs and coffee houses. Let’s see how her journey took her to becoming the host of the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Early Career

Following some small stand-up comedy performances, DeGeneres became the emcee at Clyde’s Comedy Club in New Orleans, taking inspiration from Steve Martin and Woody Allen. At the beginning of the 1980s, she started touring nationally, after a few years, by 1984, Showtime named her “the funniest person in America”.

In 1986, Ellen DeGeneres caught her first big break when she had a guest appearance on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, making her the first female comedian to appear on the show.

TV Series and Movie Appearances

Rapidly transitioning to television after her screen debut, Ellen DeGeneres also started appearing in movies and series. Her first regular role on a TV show was in 1989 when she was selected to appear on the Fox sitcom Open House, the spin-off of the show Duet. In 1992, she appeared in the sitcom Laurie Hill, cast by producers Carol Black and Neal Marlens to play the role of Nurse Nancy MacIntyre.

ellen degeneres laurie hill

Laurie Hill wasn’t a success and was canceled after only four episodes. However, Ellen DeGeneres’ acting skills were brilliant on the sitcom, prompting the producers to feature her in their next project on ABC called These Friends of Mine (later renamed Ellen).

In 1993, she took on a role in the film Coneheads, after which she starred in a series of films for a Universe of Energy show named Ellen’s Energy Adventure, featuring Alex Trebek, Bill Nye, and Michael Richards. The show was about Ellen DeGeneres falling asleep and finding herself in a version of Jeopardy!, where she played against Albert Einstein and an old rival.

After a first successful season, These Friends of Mine was renamed Ellen, since its popularity mostly stemmed from Degeneres’ unique humor and style, often referred to as the “female Seinfeld“.

The Sitcom Ellen and The Ellen Show

While Ellen DeGeneres was already becoming very popular at this point, she reached the height of her popularity in April of 1997, when she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, coming out as a lesbian.

This happened at around the same time when her character on her sitcom came out of the closet, talking to her therapist, saying “Susan, I’m gay. That felt so great. It felt so… loud.” The episode was titled “The Puppy Episode” and was one of the highest-rated episodes on the Ellen Show.

Later on, DeGeneres would win a Primetime Emmy Award for this episode.

A few days later, she officially came out in Time Magazine, with a cover that said: “Yep, I’m Gay.”

At this point, DeGeneres was playing the first gay lead character on American network television. Since the topic was taboo at the time, some sponsors followed up saying they would pull ads from the sitcom, including J.C. Penney, the company Ellen had previously worked for.

The Ellen sitcom returned for a fifth season after the revelation, but it experienced falling ratings and was canceled on July 22, 1998. Ellen lost the backing of ABC and advertisers, causing the end of the TV series, and a depressing period for the young comedian and actor.

However, Ellen DeGeneres hasn’t been one to back down or give up. After her series was canceled, she returned to the stand-up comedy scene, making audiences laugh for a few more years, before she was ready for her TV return.

In 2001, Ellen DeGeneres returned to the small screen with a new sitcom called The Ellen Show, this time on CBS. The new sitcom lasted for 13 episodes, making it a much smaller success compared to her first sitcom.

the ellen show

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

After her second sitcom was canceled, DeGeneres voiced Dory in Finding Nemo, reprising that same role in 2003 with the sequel of the movie, Finding Dory.

That same year, DeGeneres began hosting her own television show, having established herself as a famous comedian in the US. The debut of The Ellen DeGeneres Show was in September 2003, marking the beginning of a project that later became one of the most-watched talk shows on daytime television.

The show was a tremendous success, winning 25 Emmy Awards in its first three seasons! The first season of the show was nominated for 12 Daytime Emmy Awards, winning four.

On May 1, 2009, DeGeneres celebrated the 1,000th episode with celebrity guests including Justin Timberlake, Paris Hilton, and Oprah Winfrey. In December 2015, the famous talk show host celebrated the 2,000th show, and in 2022, she concluded the show, ending it in its 19th season.

ellen degeneres and oprah

The final episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show aired on May 26, 2022, with guests Billie Eilish, Pink, and Jennifer Aniston.

The talk show host reportedly earned $50 million in annual income while on the show, which doesn’t include the additional millions she earned from endorsements and other investments. When asked about the reason for canceling it, she shared that she came to the decision ahead of signing a multi-year deal for a year extension in 2018.

“I was going to stop after Season 16. That was going to be my last season and they wanted to sign for four more years and I said I’d sign for maybe one,” she shared. “So, we [settled] on three more years and I knew that would be my last. That’s been the plan all along.”

However, the last few years working on the show were also mired in controversy. Workers on the show accused Ellen of fostering a toxic working environment, with allegations of cruelty, racism, and intimidation coming to the fore in 2020. This included reports of sexual misconduct from some staff not being taken seriously. Although Ellen and Warner Bros. dismissed the accused and made changes to the team, ratings were falling and the scandals were an element which led to the cancelling of the show.

During the 2017-2018 season of the show, DeGeneres started hosting the NBC game show called Ellen’s Game of Games, based on games played on her talk show. This separate show ran for four seasons until May 2021, when DeGeneres announced it would be canceled in January 2022.

ellen degeneres game of games

In 2024, Ellen began a comeback comedy tour called Ellen’s Last Stand. In the show she talks about the reasons why her previous show was cancelled and how her career struggled after coming out. She is performing the comedy show throughout the summer of 2024 and it will then be aired as a Netflix special. The details of the financial deal  for the show are yet to be disclosed.

Award Show Appearances

Back in 2001 when Ellen DeGeneres wasn’t yet internationally famous, she hosted the television broadcast of the Emmy Awards, receiving wider exposure in the process.

She turned out to be the perfect choice for the role, especially since the Emmy Awards were canceled twice due to network concerns following the September 11 attacks. The network believed that hosting the show would be insensitive, and they were eager to choose someone with a more somber tone and a funny style, picking DeGeneres for the role. She received standing ovations for her performance that evening.

Following this success, she hosted the Grammys, the Academy Awards, and even the Oscars. In September 2005, she hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, three weeks after Hurricane Katrina. She hosted the Grammy Awards in 1996 and 1997 and was selected to host the 79th Academy Awards ceremony in 2007.

In 2014, she hosted the Academy Awards for the second time. A selfie orchestrated by her during the broadcast of the event is the fifth-most retweeted tweet in history, with over 3.4 million retweets by May 2017.

In 2010, American Idol selected DeGeneres as the show’s fourth judge, replacing Paula Abdul in her role. However, the talk show host left after a single season, saying that this “didn’t feel like the right fit for me”.

After a long hiatus from doing stand-up comedy, the talk show host Ellen DeGeneres returned to the scene with a Netflix stand-up special called Relatable, which aired in 2018. She reportedly earned $20 million for the Netflix special.


Over the years, the comedian has published several popular books including:

  • My Point… And I Do Have One in 1995
  • The Funny Thing Is… in 2003
  • Seriously… I’m Kidding in 2011
  • Home in 2015
  • Little Ellen in 2022

ellen degeneres seriously im kidding

Awards and Accolades

Over the years, the famous talk show host has won many awards including:

  • Mark Twain Prize for American Humor
  • Primetime Emmy Award for “The Puppy Episode”
  • 33 Daytime Emmy Awards
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016
  • Carol Burnett Award at the Golden Globes in 2020
  • 20 People’s Choice Awards

Ellen DeGeneres Net Worth: Other Investments, Assets, and More

Ellen DeGeneres is one of the highest-paid entertainers in the world, named the 50th most powerful woman by Forbes in 2015. It should come as no surprise that her talk show is the source of the bulk of her net worth, bringing in millions every year.

Even so, this is not the only source of DeGeneres’ fortune. She also sources millions a year from endorsement deals and other businesses, and is widely known for making major profits by flipping houses with her wife Portia de Rossi.

Let’s take a closer look at what else she has invested in over the years.

Instagram Earnings

As of May 2024, Ellen DeGeneres has 139 million followers on Instagram and 74.2 million followers on Twitter.

ellen degeneres instagram

Her worldwide popularity and large number of followers mean that the comedian most likely earns a fortune from sponsored posts, which are frequently seen on her social media profiles. She reportedly earns $52 million a year from influencing on Instagram.


DeGeneres is a strong believer in diversified income streams and as such, she has started and managed many businesses.

Her earnings from the businesses listed below remain largely undisclosed, but sources show that she earns a total of $75 million a year from these ventures.

A Very Good Production

In 2003, the talk show host founded a production company called A Very Good Production. The Very Good Production company produced her show from 2003 until its end in 2022, adding millions to the comedian’s fortune.

The production business didn’t solely focus on Ellen’s show. It also produced several other TV shows and movies like:

  • Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase in 2019
  • The Masked Dancer in 2020
  • Green Eggs and Ham in 2019
  • Ellen’s Game of Games in 2019
  • Little Ellen in 2021

In 2021, A Very Good Production signed a deal with Discovery to produce documentaries and history specials, which led to the production of Endangered.

With several projects lined up for her production company, Ellen DeGeneres adds millions of dollars to her net worth from this venture alone.

ED Ellen DeGeneres

In 2015, DeGeneres launched a lifestyle brand called ED by Ellen. After she started selling her first collections, she decided to change the brand’s name to ED Ellen DeGeneres, to incorporate the licensed arm of the business. Today, this collection includes shoes, accessories, baby items, pet items, apparel, and home items. As a big fan of pets, she launched her famous dog collection at PetSmart in 2017 with a cat line following a few months later.

Ellen ED brand

Two years after the founding of the business, DeGeneres launched a collection to benefit her campaign #BeKindToElephants, which featured a tee and baby onesie. The comedian donated all of the proceeds from the campaign to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. She also created a line with her brand to benefit an organization she founded, the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund.

DeGeneres has been passionate about helping animals and a fighter for animal rights for many years. In 2018, Ellen’s wife Portia surprised her for her birthday with a donation to build a permanent gorilla home in Rwanda to protect critically endangered mountain gorillas, building the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Kind Science

In 2021, DeGeneres announced that she was starting Kind Science, a new skincare line aimed at age-positive skincare, in partnership with Victoria Jackson. The brand sells a range of products including serums, cleansers, creams, and more.

Heads Up App

In addition to her businesses, DeGeneres has also developed a mobile application called Heads Up. The app sells for $0.99 and is one of the most downloaded apps in the world, adding more to her net worth. It currently has more than 10 million downloads on Play Store and many more on the App Store.


In 2010, the TV host announced on her show that she was starting a record company called eleveneleven. When asked about the inspiration for the name, she explained that she often sees the number 11:11 when she looks at the time and that she found Greyson Chance on the 11th.

Other Investments

In addition to investing in her own businesses, DeGeneres reportedly makes investments in startups and other companies, as well. In 2022, she was the angel investor in Pachama, a Carbon-based startup that raised $55 million. A year before, she and her wife invested an undisclosed sum in Shelf Engine.

Real Estate

DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are known as real estate flippers, having bought and sold over 20 properties since 2003.

Here is a list of their most notable real estate purchases to date:

  • 2003: Hollywood Hills home, bought for $6 million and sold three years later for a $3 million profit
  • 2004: Hollywood Hills home, bought for $1.275 million, sold a year later for a $825,000 profit
  • 2007: Montecito, California mansion, bought for $15.75 million, sold the same year for a $4.25 million profit
  • 2008: Beverly Hills property, bought for $29 million, expanded to include two surrounding homes in the following years. The couple sold this house in 2012 for $37 million to Ryan Seacrest
  • 2008: Horse ranch in Thousand Oaks, California, acquired for $8.6 million, sold for a $2.25 million profit in 2013
  • 2011: Malibu home, acquired for $12 million and sold for $13 million a year later
  • 2012: Holmby Hills property called Brody House, bought for $40 million, sold for a $15 million profit to Sean Parker that same year
  • 2012: Los Angeles adjacent condos, acquired for $13.2 million, sold for $11.85 million
  • 2015: Beverly Hills villa, acquired for $16 million, sold in 2018 for a $19 million profit
  • 2018: Beverly Hills mansion, acquired for $15 million, sold for $15.5 million that same year
  • 2018: Santa Barbara ranch, bought for $6.7 million, sold for $6.98 million to Brian Robbins in 2019
  • 2018: Bali-inspired mansion located in Montecito, acquired for $27 million and expanded to the adjacent property worth $1.9 million. They sold the property for $33 million in 2020
  • 2019: A new Beverly Hills mansion was acquired for $45 million, and sold for a $2 million profit in 2021
  • 2020: Montecito home, acquired for $49 million, sold the following year for $55 million
  • 2022: Montecito Villa Tragara property, bought for $21 million, sold for $36 million that same year
  • 2022: Carpinteria side-by-side properties, acquired for $70 million, which they most likely still own today
  • 2023: Pompeiian Court property in Montecito, acquired for $22.5 million, listed for sale for $46.5 million

These real estate sales have added over $85 million in profits to the joint net worth of Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia, and this doesn’t include the $70 million Carpinteria properties they most likely still have in their asset portfolio.

Car Collection

The television host also owns at least $1 million in the form of cars, including:

  • Two-door Ferrari California worth $200,000
  • Porsche 911 Turbo S worth $175,000
  • Porsche 911 Carrera S worth $119,000
  • Porsche Heritage Edition worth $185,000
  • Lamborghini Urus worth $260,000
  • Mercedes AMG GT worth over $120,000

In 2014, DeGeneres surprised her wife with a Land Rover Defender as a Christmas present.

What Can We Learn from Ellen DeGeneres’ Story?

Ellen DeGeneres’ journey to becoming an iconic figure in American entertainment teaches us the power of creativity, diversification, and, most of all, resilience. From her unique humor which endeared her to audiences in small comedy clubs, to her early odd jobs that helped her earn some cash, Ellen’s path hasn’t exactly been straightforward or easy.

Her rise to fame began with her groundbreaking sitcom Ellen, where she bravely came out as a lesbian on national television, a move that was career-defining and courageous for that time. Despite facing significant challenges and even a career lull, Ellen’s determination never wavered. Not only did she bounce back with the famous show, which ran successfully for 19 seasons, but she also expanded her influence through various other ventures. Even when that show was cancelled, she found a way to come back again.

Ellen’s story highlights the importance of having multiple streams of income and not putting all your eggs in one basket. She has launched a lifestyle brand, founded her own record company, and even made some major investments in real estate, constantly showcasing her business acumen. Her diverse portfolio underscores the significance of innovation and adaptability in achieving long-term success.