J.D. Salinger net worth: J.D. Salinger is an American author who had a net worth of $20 million dollars. J.D. Salinger was born in New York, New York, and began writing when he was in his early teens. He went on to attend New York University and Ursinus College, but dropped out of both institutions. He was published for the first time in 1939, in Story Magazine. He went on to publish several stories and novellas, while working as a counter-intelligence officer during World War II. Fluent in English, German, and French, he was in charge of interrogating prisoners of war. After returning to the United States, he continued to publish short stories and novellas, and one was made into an ill-fated movie that had nothing to do with the original source material. He never allowed another of his works to be made into a film again. In 1951, he published the novel that would become his enduring legacy. "The Catcher in the Rye" is one of the most controversial and popular books ever published. He became a hermit after publishing the novel, and his last interview was in 1980. He published only a handful of works between "Catcher in the Rye", and his death, in 2010.