Van Jones

Van Jones Net Worth

$5 Million

Van Jones' Salary

$1 Million
Richest CelebritiesAuthors
Net Worth:
$5 Million
$1 Million
Date of Birth:
Sep 20, 1968 (55 years old)
Place of Birth:
Author, Lawyer, Civil Rights Advocate, Environmentalist, Writer, Actor
United States of America
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What is Van Jones' Net Worth and Salary?

Van Jones is an American political commentator, activist, entrepreneur, lawyer, and author who  has a net worth of $5 million. He is best known for being a CNN political commentator. Van Jones is best known for hosting or co-hosting such CNN television shows as "Crossfire," "The Van Jones Show," and "The Messy Truth." He has also founded or co-founded numerous nonprofits, including Color of Change and the social justice accelerator Dream Corps. Among his other endeavors, Jones is the CEO of the criminal justice reform initiative REFORM Alliance.

Early Life and Education

Van Jones was born as Anthony Kapel Jones on September 20, 1968 in Jackson, Tennessee to middle school principal Willie and high school teacher Loretta. He has a twin sister named Angela. Growing up, Jones was a bookish kid who idolized the civil rights work of the late Martin Luther King Jr. and the Kennedys. As a teen, he went to Jackson Central-Merry High School. Jones went on to attend the University of Tennessee at Martin, from which he earned his BS in communications and political science. At the school, he helped found several independent campus-based publications, including the University of Tennessee's Fourteenth Circle and Vanderbilt University's Periscope. Later, Jones enrolled at Yale Law School, graduating in 1993 with his JD. He subsequently moved to San Francisco, California to get involved with leftist activist groups. Jones ended up co-founding a socialist collective called Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement.

Career Beginnings

While he was a student at UT Martin, Jones interned at such papers as the Jackson Sun, the Shreveport Times, and the Associated Press. Later, while attending Yale Law School, he became involved with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. In 1995, Jones launched the group's project Bay Area PoliceWatch, a hotline for victims of police abuse.


In 1996, Jones founded the non-profit organization Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, named after the titular activist and civil rights leader. The Oakland, California-based group works to break cycles of urban violence and foster justice, peace, and opportunity in urban centers. Later, in 2005, the Ella Baker Center expanded its vision to promote environmental justice. This expansion involved the creation of the Green-Collar Jobs Campaign. Also in 2005, Jones co-founded the Internet-based civil rights advocacy group Color of Change with James Rucker. Founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the organization strives to empower the voices of black Americans to make the government more responsive to issues affecting black communities.

Building upon his environmental work with the Ella Baker Center, Jones launched a new environmental justice organization, Green for All, in 2007. Co-founded by Majora Carter, the group aims to build a green economy while also lifting people out of poverty. Green for All carries out its mission by combining conservation, regulation, and investment. Among his other non-profit activities, Jones co-founded Advocates for Opioid Recovery with Newt Gingrich and Patrick J. Kennedy. He also co-founded the social justice accelerator Dream Corps with Jessica Jackson and Matt Haney. The organization owns and operates a number of advocacy projects, including #YesWeCode and #cut50. Jones is also the CEO of the criminal justice reform initiative REFORM Alliance. Elsewhere, he has served on the boards of such nonprofits as Bioneers, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Rainforest Action Network, and 1Sky.


Obama Administration

In early 2009, Jones was appointed by President Barack Obama as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. In the position, he worked to facilitate communication between federal agencies working toward a green economy. Not long after his appointment, conservative media personalities and Republican lawmakers launched a smear campaign against Jones, accusing him of being overly radical and falsely claiming that he had signed a petition suggesting the Bush administration was complicit in 9/11. In response, Jones resigned from the White House in September of 2009.


In 2013, Jones became the co-host of a reboot of the CNN political debate television show "Crossfire"; he was joined by Stephanie Cutter, S.E. Cupp, and Newt Gingrich. The show was eventually canceled in late 2014. Two years later, Jones launched a news documentary series for CNN called "The Messy Truth," which subsequently spawned a studio discussion series entitled "The Messy Truth with Van Jones." In 2018, Jones began hosting "The Van Jones Show," and in 2019 launched "The Redemption Project with Van Jones."

Beyond his hosting, Jones regularly contributes political commentary to CNN. He has spoken on an array of subjects for the network, including Supreme Court decisions, civil unrest, police violence, and racism.


As an author, Jones published his first book, "The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems," in 2008. The book describes a plan for solving both environmental and socioeconomic issues at once. Notably, "The Green Collar Economy" became the first environmental book by an African-American author to appear on the New York Times bestseller list.

In 2012, Jones published his second book, "Rebuild the Dream," focused on the work of his eponymous political organization. He next published "Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together" in 2017.

Other Ventures and Activities

Among his myriad of other ventures, Jones is the founder and owner of the media company Magic Labs Media. Through the company, he has produced the Webby Award-winning miniseries "The Messy Truth" and the Emmy Award-winning VR experience of the same name. In 2021, Jones began a weekly podcast through Magic Labs Media entitled "Uncommon Ground with Van Jones."

Personal Life

In 2005, Jones married his wife Jana Carter. The couple had two sons, Cabral and Mattai, before divorcing in 2019.

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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