Last Updated: June 18, 2024
Richest BusinessCEOs
Net Worth:
$2 Billion
Jun 6, 1969 (55 years old)
Entrepreneur, Businessperson
United States of America
💰 Compare Erik Prince's Net Worth

What is Erik Prince's Net Worth and Salary?

Erik Prince is an American businessman and former US Navy SEAL who has a net worth of $2 billion. Erik Prince was the founder and owner of the military company, XE, also known as Blackwater Worldwide, which carried out highly secretive government operations. It came under scrutiny in 2007, and Erik stepped down as its head in 2009. Much of Prince's fortune comes from an automotive accessory empire started by his father that the family sold in 1996 for $1.35 billion.

Founded in 1997, Blackwater is the largest private military company in the world today. Not only it was awarded with more than $1.6 billion worth of federal contracts, but the company has also reportedly received $600 million worth of classified contracts from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) since 2001. After Erik left the company, Blackwater was sold to a group of investors in 2010 and renamed Academi the following year. In 2013, Prince published the book "Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror."

Early Life

Erik Prince was born Erik Dean Prince on June 6, 1969, in Holland, Michigan. He grew up with mother Elsa, father Edgar (a businessman and engineer), and three older siblings, including future United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Erik attended Holland Christian High School and often traveled around the world with his father. After high school, Prince attended the United States Naval Academy for three semesters, then left because although he loved the Navy, he didn't like the Naval Academy. He then enrolled at Hillsdale College, graduating with a B.A. in economics in 1992. As a college student, Erik worked as a cold-water diver for the local sheriff's department and was a volunteer firefighter. He later found work as an emergency medical technician.

In 1990, Prince got a White House internship, but he left after he secured an internship with California congressman Dana Rohrabacher. When he was 21, Erik volunteered to go to Nicaragua to search for a mass grave, later stating, "We found a mass grave: bones sticking out of the ground, hands tied with wire at the wrists." In 1992, Prince attended Officer Candidate School and became an officer in the US Navy. He eventually became a Navy SEAL and was deployed to the Middle East, Haiti, and the Balkans with SEAL Team 8. Erik left the Navy after his father died in 1995 and ran Prince Machine Corporation until his mother sold it to Johnson Controls for $1.35 billion the following year.

Blackwater Worldwide

In 1997, Prince relocated to Virginia Beach and financed Blackwater Worldwide. After buying 6,000 acres of land in North Carolina's Great Dismal Swamp, he built a school for special operations, a decision that was inspired by the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Providing nearly 1,000 guards for bases and embassies abroad, Blackwater became the State Department's largest private security company. Erik stated in his memoir that he helped connect the CIA with Afghan warlords who aided in the fall of the Taliban and " [drove] al Qaeda into hiding." In September 2007, Blackwater employees killed 17 Iraqi civilians after opening fire at Baghdad's Nisour Square, and in October 2014, three of the company's guards were convicted of manslaughter; another guard was convicted on murder charges on 2019. This incident led to criticism of Blackwater, but in 2010, the company was awarded a United States Department of State security contract worth $120 million as well as $100 million in CIA contracts. Defending Blackwater, Prince has said that in 40,000 personal security missions, weapons were fired by guards in just 200 of them. He stated, "No one under our care was ever killed or injured. We kept them safe, all the while we had 30 of our men killed."

Erik Prince

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Erik was once on a CIA task force dedicated to killing terrorists, and his name was allegedly leaked to the media by the House intelligence congressional committee. Prince has said that he believes he was outed by Leon Panetta, former director of the CIA, after the task force was shut down in 2009. Erik moved to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in 2010 after being hired by the crown prince to assemble "an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the U.A.E." In January 2011, he started training 2,000 Somalis to fight piracy in the Gulf of Aden. Prince later began serving as chairman of logistics and transport company Frontier Services Group Ltd and head of private equity firm Frontier Resource Group.

Ties to Trump Campaigns

In August 2016, Erik met with Donald Trump, Jr., Joel Zamel, and George Nader at Trump Tower to discuss Iran policy. During the meeting, Nader reportedly said that the crown princes of the UAE and Saudi Arabia wanted to help Donald Trump win the presidential election. In January 2017, Prince also attended a meeting in Seychelles that was arranged by Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE crown prince. In April 2017, "The Washington Post" reported that this meeting was "part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump."

Though Erik testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee that he did not represent the Trump transition and that no back-channel was involved, the Special Counsel found evidence that contradicted his testimony. In April 2019, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department on the basis that Prince had provided false testimony, and the Department of Justice opened an investigation in early 2020. In March 2020, "The New York Times" revealed that Erik recruited former spies to infiltrate "Democratic congressional campaigns, labor organizations and other groups considered hostile to the Trump agenda."

Personal Life

Erik married Joan Nicole in 1991, and they had four children together (Sophia, Christian, Isabella, and Erik) before Joan passed away from cancer in 2003. While Joan was sick, Prince began an affair with his children's former nanny, Joanna Houck, and impregnated her before Joan's death. Erik and Joanna wed in 2004 and had three children before divorcing in 2012. Prince then married former Blackwater spokesperson Stacy DeLuke. Erik is a practicing Catholic, having converted in 1992. Prince has donated money to several Republican politicians, including Ron Paul, Mike Pence, Pat Buchanan, and Mitt Romney, and he gave $250,000 to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Erik is the vice president of the Prince Foundation, which was founded by his parents in 1979, and he founded the Freiheit Foundation in the 1990s; both organizations support conservative Christian causes.

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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