Richest BusinessRichest Billionaires
Net Worth:
$20 Billion
Sep 3, 1820 - Feb 28, 1891 (70 years old)
Sullivan, Missouri Territory, U.S.
💰 Compare George Hearst's Net Worth

What was George Hearst's Net Worth?

George Hearst was an American businessman and politician who had a net worth equal to $20-30 billion at the time of his death in 1891. George Hearst was one of America's biggest early tycoons. He was married to Phoebe Apperson Hearst, a philanthropist and socialite who was also known for her contributions to education and the arts. Today the extended Hearst family is still one of the wealthiest families in the world, with a combined net worth estimated at $25 billion and growing.

Compared to other tycoons of his era, George Hearst's wealth was significant but not quite as vast as some of his contemporaries. For example, John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil, was worth an estimated $340 billion in today's dollars at the time of his death, making him one of the richest people of all time. Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate, was also worth hundreds of billions of dollars in today's currency, and his philanthropic efforts helped to shape the modern educational and cultural landscape of the United States.

Hearst's wealth and influence were still substantial, and his role in the development of the American mining industry was significant. His son, William Randolph Hearst, went on to become one of the most famous media moguls of the 20th century, and the Hearst family's legacy continues to be felt in many areas of American life today. The media empire William established today includes the following publications:

  • Car and Driver
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Country Living
  • Elle
  • Good Housekeeping
  • Esquire
  • Food Network magazine
  • HGTV magazine
  • Harper's Bazar
  • House Beautiful
  • Men's Health
  • The Pioneer Woman
  • Seventeen
  • Town & Country

Notable Descendants

Hearst's son, William Randolph Hearst, went on to become one of the most famous media moguls of the 20th century, founding the Hearst Corporation and building a vast media empire that included newspapers, magazines, and television stations. Today, the Hearst Corporation is one of the largest media companies in the world, and Hearst's descendants continue to be prominent figures in business, politics, and the arts. One of William's great-grandchildren is Patty Hearst, the infamous bank robber. A number of his great-great-grandchildren have became famous models, for example Lydia Hearst and Amanda Hearst.

Early Life

George Hearst was born on September 3, 1820, in Sullivan, Missouri. His family moved to Missouri when he was young, and he grew up in a farming community. He received little formal education, but he was a bright and curious child who showed an early interest in mining and prospecting.

Mining Success

After moving to California in the mid-1850s, Hearst began working as a miner and quickly developed a reputation as a skilled and knowledgeable prospector. He made his first big strike in 1859, when he discovered the famous Comstock Lode in Nevada, one of the largest and richest silver deposits in history. According to estimates, the total amount of silver extracted from the Comstock Lode was around 280 million ounces, worth billions of dollars in today's currency. However, it's difficult to say exactly how much silver Hearst himself discovered or profited from, as he was part of a large group of prospectors and miners who were working the Comstock Lode during its heyday. Despite this, Hearst's role in the discovery and development of the Comstock Lode played a significant role in his success as a businessman and politician, and he remains one of the most important figures in the history of the American mining industry.

Hearst's mining operations grew rapidly, and he soon became one of the most powerful and influential figures in the mining industry.

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In addition to his mining interests, Hearst was also a savvy investor who made significant investments in real estate, railroads, and other businesses. He was known for his shrewd business sense and his ability to spot promising investment opportunities.

Political Career

Hearst was also active in politics, serving as a senator from California from 1887 until his death in 1891. He was a strong advocate for the interests of the mining industry and was known for his support of silver coinage. He was also a staunch supporter of the Republican Party and was involved in several key political battles during his career.

Deadwood Portrayal

George Hearst is a prominent character in the television show "Deadwood," which is set in the late 1800s in the mining town of Deadwood, South Dakota. In the show, Hearst is portrayed by Gerald McRaney as a ruthless businessman who uses his wealth and influence to dominate the local community and exploit the miners and other residents of the town.

While "Deadwood" is a work of fiction, many of the events and characters portrayed in the show are based on real historical figures and events. According to historians, the portrayal of George Hearst in "Deadwood" is generally accurate, although the show does take some liberties with the details of his life and career.

For example, in the show, Hearst is depicted as a violent and sadistic character who is willing to use any means necessary to achieve his goals. While it's true that Hearst was a powerful and ruthless businessman, historians note that there is little evidence to suggest that he was as violent or cruel as he is portrayed in the show.

Despite these exaggerations, however, many aspects of Hearst's character in "Deadwood" are based on historical fact. For example, Hearst was known for his aggressive and ruthless business practices, and he was not above using his wealth and influence to get what he wanted. He was also a powerful figure in the mining industry, and he played a key role in the development of many mining towns in the western United States.

Personal Life

Hearst married Phoebe Apperson Hearst in 1862, and the couple had one child, William Randolph Hearst. Phoebe was a prominent philanthropist and socialite who shared Hearst's interest in education and the arts. The couple was known for their lavish lifestyle and their extensive art collection, which included works by many of the most famous artists of the day.


Hearst died on February 28, 1891, in Washington, D.C. He was 70 years old at the time of his death, and his passing was widely mourned throughout the country. He was buried in the Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.

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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