Richest AthletesNFL Players
Net Worth:
$300 Million
Feb 3, 1940 (84 years old)
6 ft (1.83 m)
American football player
United States of America
💰 Compare Fran Tarkenton's Net Worth

What is Fran Tarkenton's Net Worth?

Fran Tarkenton is a former NFL quarterback, television personality, and computer software executive who has a net worth of $300 million. Fran Tarkenton is best known for playing with the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants. Fran played 18 seasons in the NFL between 1961 and 1978. He co-hosted the live television show "That's Incredible!" and also worked as a commentator on "Monday Night Football."

At the time of his NFL retirement he owned every major quarterback record. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986. In his 18 NFL seasons, Tarkenton completed 3,686 of 6,467 passes for 47,003 yards and 342 touchdowns, with 266 interceptions. Tarkenton's 47,003 career passing yards rank him 6th all time, while his 342 career passing touchdowns is 4th all time in NFL history. Beyond his football career, Tarkenton has also made a name for himself as a successful entrepreneur and television personality.

Early Life and College

Fran Tarkenton was born on February 3, 1940 in Richmond, Virginia. He grew up in Athens, Georgia where he went to Athens High School. He attended the University of Georgia, where he was the quarterback on the Bulldog football team. He led Georgia to the 1959 Southeastern Conference championship. He is a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.


Tarkenton was drafted in the third round of the 1961 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Known for his scrambling abilities, he added a new dimension to the quarterback role, often eluding defenders to extend plays. His unique style of play not only made him a fan favorite but also set a precedent for future generations of mobile quarterbacks.

Tarkenton played for the Vikings from 1961 to 1966 before being traded to the New York Giants, where he played from 1967 to 1971. He then returned to the Vikings in 1972 and led the team to three Super Bowl appearances in 1973, 1974, and 1976. Although the Vikings did not win a championship, Tarkenton's leadership and skillful play left an indelible mark on the franchise.

Throughout his career, Tarkenton was named to the Pro Bowl nine times and won the NFL's Most Valuable Player award in 1975. By the time he retired in 1978, he held NFL records for career pass attempts, completions, yardage, and touchdowns, further cementing his legacy as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

Career Earnings

When Fran was named starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings in the early 1960s, his annual salary was $12,500. After adjusting for inflation that's the same as around $111,000 today. Early in his career, Fran actually took on part-time jobs in the off-season to supplement his income. For example, he worked as a salesman for a trucking company in Idaho to earn $600 per month. He also worked for a printing company in Minnesota and for the advertising firm BBD&O. His peak single-season salary was $250,000.

In total, during his NFL career Fran Tarkenton earned $1.2 million. That's the same as around $8 million today.

Outside of his NFL salaries, Fran earned significant sums from endorsements with companies like Johnson & Johnson.

Fran Tarkenton Net Worth

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Business Career

Tarkenton has also had an extremely success business career. He founded Tarkenton Software, a computer-program generator company, and he toured the U.S. promoting CASE (computer-aided software engineering) with Albert F. Case, J. of Nastec Corporation. Tarkenton Software later merged with KnowledgeWare. When KnowledgeWare went public in 1989, Fran made several million dollars. By 1991 his shares were worth $50 million on paper. The share price dwindled over the next few years but Fran still managed to sell around $4 million worth of his shares between 1992 and 1993. The company was sold to Sterling Software in 1994 for $73 million. Fran earned $6 million off this sale AND received a 5-year seat on the company's board plus a $300,000 annual consulting salary.

Today Fran owns Tarkenton Financial, GoSmallBiz and Tarkenton Teleconferencing.

He also reportedly owns more than $100 million worth of Apple stock and $15 million worth of real estate.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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