Michael Jordan chose to celebrate his 60th birthday slightly early by donating $10 million to charity.
The basketball icon still tops the list of many fans as the greatest of all time. While he earned “only” $93 million as an NBA player for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards during his winning basketball career, his fortune soared due to savvy business deals and a charming persona.
Giving back has been an essential part of Michael Jordan the man and the brand. His $10 million donation to Make-A-Wish is its largest donation ever from an individual in the organization’s 43-year history, according to a news release.
Since retiring from basketball in 2003 after 16 seasons in the NBA, Michael Jordan remains a household name. Jordan was named the richest retired athlete in the world, according to Forbes’ 2022 Billionaires List. He is an avid spokesperson, businessperson and entrepreneur and the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets. He has also published four books and even done some acting. Additionally, he co-owns a NASCAR team, 23XI Racing.
Jordan’s current net worth is listed at $1.7 billion, according to Forbes.
- Net worth: $2.2 billion
- Date of birth: Feb. 17, 1963
- Primary sources of wealth: Sports, brand deals
- Career highlights: Six NBA championships
Rising Net Worth Thanks to Investments and Endorsements
Michael Jordan was equally known for his jump shots on the basketball court as for his famous sneakers. As Nike Air Jordans rose in popularity, so did the athlete’s net worth. He makes about $100 million a year from Nike royalties, Business Insider reported.
In 2020, the billionaire purchased an equity stake in sports betting company DraftKings. As a result, the stock jumped 12%, making it a great investment right out of the gate for Jordan.
But the bulk of his earnings today come from his NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets. He purchased it in 2010 for $175 million and controlled 97% of the team before selling a chunk of it to two investors in 2019. Jordan remains majority owner. In spite of never winning a championship, the team was valued at $1.7 billion as of 2022, Forbes reported.
How Michael Jordan Spends His Billions
Jordan built his billions through wise investments, and he spends just as wisely. Although he does hold several sprawling properties and a golf course, he donates substantial amounts to causes he believes in. Business Insider reported that he donated $2 million to food banks in Chicago and the Carolinas, and, in 2020, he pledged to donate $100 million over 10 years to various organizations in support of racial equality, social justice and greater access to education for the Black American community.
A Winning Attitude
Jordan has traits that helped leverage his success over the years: perspective and perseverance. As Jordan himself said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot…and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
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Jami Farkas contributed to the reporting for this article.