Richest BusinessProducers
Net Worth:
$150 Million
Apr 25, 1933 - Aug 22, 2011 (78 years old)
Lyricist, Songwriter, Record producer
United States of America
💰 Compare Jerry Leiber's Net Worth

What was Jerry Leiber's Net Worth?

Jerry Leiber was an American songwriter and record producer who had a net worth of $150 million at the time of his death in 2011. Jerry Leiber was born in Baltimore, Maryland in April 1933 and passed away in August 2011. He was best known for being one half of the songwriting and record producer duo with Mike Stoller. The two met in Los Angeles as teenagers and became friends instantly. The duo wrote many hit songs including "Hound Dog" and "Kansas City" as well as "Young Blood", "Searchin'", and "Yakety Yak".

Leiber and Stoller produced "There Goes My Baby" by the Drifters. The pair wrote many songs for Elvis Presley including "Love Me', "Jailhouse Rock", "Loving You", "Don't", and "King Creole". Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote or co-wrote more than 70 chart hits and were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Jerry would typically write the lyrics while Mike would compose the music. They reportedly could write a massive hit song in just a few minutes.

In their co-biography, Jerry described their mind-set and strategy in the following way:

"We were two guys looking to write songs for black artists with black feelings rendered in the black vernacular."

In 1995, a Broadway musical bases on the duo's music called "Smokey Joe's Cafe" debuted and ultimately ran more than 2000 shows. Jerry Leiber passed away on August 22, 2011 at 78 years old.

Jerry Leiber Royalties

Their incredibly valuable song catalogue continues to produce millions of dollars in royalties. Between 1961 and 2012 alone, "Stand by Me" produced an estimated $30 million in royalties which were split by Stoller, Leiber and artist Ben E. King. The value of the Leiber-Stoller song catalogue and royalty stream is likely in the $100+ million range, if it ever hit the auction block.


Early Life

Leiber was born on April 25, 1933 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was raised in a Jewish household and his parents were immigrants from Poland. His father died when he was five years old and his mother later moved to Los Angeles, California where Leiber attended Fairfax High School. While there, he met Michael Stoller who was a freshman at Los Angeles City College at the time. Leiber was also working at Norty's, a record store, at the time, while Stoller played the piano. Leiber and Stoller discovered they shared a love of blues and rhythm. They began working on their own songs together, with Leiber focusing on lyrics and Stoller on the melodies.


In 1950, Leiber and Stoller wrote "Real Ugly Woman" which was recorded by Jimmy Witherspoon. It was the duo's first commercial song. They had their first hit song a couple of years later when they wrote "Hard Times" which was recorded by Charles Brown and became a rhythm and blues hit in 1952. The same year, their song "Kansas City" was recorded by blues singer Little Willie Littlefield. The song would later become a number 1 pop hit in 1959 for Wilbert Harrison. The duo also wrote the song "Hound Dog" for blues singer Big Mama Thornton in 1952. The song became a hit for her in 1953.

In 1954, Leiber and Stoller formed Spark Records with their mentor, Lester Sill. Around this time, they wrote the songs "Smokey Joe's Café" and "Riot in Cell Block #9" which were both recorded by the group the Robins. Spark Records was later bought by Atlantic Records, which hired Leiber and Stoller in a deal that allowed them to work as producers for other labels as well. Essentially, they became the first independent record producers through this deal. While at Atlantic, they helped revitalize the careers of the Drifters and also wrote a number of hits for the Coasters. Some of their popular songs from this period include "Charlie Brown," "Searchin," "Yakety Yak," and Stand by Me," among others.

In 1956, their hit song "Hound Dog" became an even bigger hit when Elvis Presley recorded a rock and roll version. The televised performance of Presley performing "Hound Dog" on the "Milton Berle Show" created such excitement in the public that he was encouraged to slow down his act during later performances to decrease the bumping and grinding from the original performance. This led to a lucrative partnership between Stoller and Leiber and Presley. They would go on to write more hits for him, including the title songs for three of his movies – "Loving You," "Jailhouse Rock," and "King Creole."

In the beginning of the 1960s, the two started Daisy Records. They also left Atlantic Records and began producing a series of records for United Artists Records. Some of these new records included hits by Jay and the Americans, the Exciters, and the Clovers. They founded Red Bird Records but sold it a few years later and continued working as independent producers and songwriters. In 1969, they wrote and produced the song "Is That All There Is?" recorded by Peggy Lee. For her performance, she won the Best Female Pop Vocal at the Grammy Awards.

The duo's last major hit production was "Stuck in the Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel. In 1975, they recorded the album "Mirrors" with Peggy Lee. In the late 1970s, A&M Records employed the duo to write and produce an album for Elkie Brooks, which went on to become a success throughout much of Europe. They produced another album for Brooks in 1979 called "Live and Learn."

In 1982, Donald Fagen recorded their song "Ruby Baby. The same year, Michael McDonald released "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)" which was inspired by the duo's "I Keep Forgettin" track. Stoller and Leiber were eventually given a 50% songwriting credit. The two continued working throughout the 1980s but did not work as much as they did in their earlier years.

Some of Leiber and Stoller's recognition and awards include their 1985 induction in to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Elvis Presley's recording of their song "Hound Dog" was placed in the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 1994, they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They continued receiving awards and honors throughout the 1990s. In 1996, they were given the National Academy of Songwriters Lifetime Achievement Award.

Personal Life and Death

Leiber was married twice in his life. His first marriage was to Barbara Rose, which ended in divorce. He later married Gaby Rodgers, though they also divorced. He had three sons – Oliver, Jed, and Jake. In August of 2011, Leiber died as a result of cardio-pulmonary failure.

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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