Sally Jessy Raphael
Last Updated: November 8, 2023
Richest Celebrities
Net Worth:
$40 Million
Date of Birth:
Feb 25, 1935 (88 years old)
Place of Birth:
Journalist, Talk show host, Actor, Film Producer
United States of America
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What is Sally Jessy Raphael's Net Worth and Salary?

Sally Jessy Raphael is an American talk show host who has a net worth of $40 million. Sally Jessy Raphael hosted her own program from 1983 to 2002. Beginning as a local half-hour show in St. Louis, the program eventually became nationally syndicated, and was ultimately expanded to a full hour. Later, from 2005 to 2008, Raphael hosted a daily radio show.


In September 1993, at the peak of her show's popularity, Sally signed the largest contract of her career. That deal with production company Multimedia Inc. paid Sally $25 million over five years. After adjusting for inflation, that contract was worth approximately $44 million, around $9 million per year before taxes. She signed one more contract that paid slightly less until the show ended in 2002. Sally aired nearly 4,000 episodes over its run.

Early Life and Education

Sally Jessy Raphael was born as Sally Lowenthal on February 25, 1935 in Easton, Pennsylvania. Her mother Zelda ran an art gallery, while her father Jesse was a rum exporter. She has a younger brother named Steven. As a teen, Raphael went to Easton Area High School. She also spent time in San Juan, Puerto Rico where her father worked, and had one of her first media jobs at the local radio station WFAS in Scarsdale, New York. For her higher education, Raphael went to Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Puerto Rico, and Columbia University. Additionally, she studied under Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.

Career Beginnings

After graduating from college, Raphael became a news correspondent for the Associated Press and United Press International; thanks to her fluency in Spanish, she covered affairs in Central America for the agencies. Raphael also did radio and television work in Puerto Rico and Miami. However, unable to find consistent work at any one place, she moved between numerous stations, taking work as a DJ, reporter, and host of a celebrity interview show. Out of the 24 stations where she worked, Raphael was fired from 18 of them. She finally found success in 1981 when she landed a longterm gig hosting a call-in advice show on New York City's WMCA radio station.


The Sally Jessy Raphael Show

Raphael gained her greatest fame as the host of the syndicated tabloid talk show "The Sally Jessy Raphael Show," later renamed "Sally." The show debuted in late 1983 in St. Louis, Missouri on the local NBC affiliate station KSDK. One of the first issue-driven, audience-participation talk shows featuring a female host, "Sally" covered such major topics as religion, family, and sexuality, and also included more lighthearted moments of comedy. Often, Raphael invited drag queens onto the show. In 1986, "Sally" expanded from a half-hour show to an hour-long one. From 1987 to 1989, it broadcast from WTNH's studios in New Haven, Connecticut. Following this, production moved to the Unitel studios in Manhattan. From 1998 until its cancellation in 2002, "Sally" broadcast from Manhattan's Hotel Pennsylvania.

Other Media

Following the end of her television show, Raphael hosted a daily radio program entitled "Sally Jessy Raphael on Talknet" from 2005 to 2008. With its flagship station being Baltimore, Maryland's WVIE, the show aired on AM stations across New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Midwest. Additionally, the program aired on XM Satellite Radio's America's Talk channel beginning in late 2007.

Among her other media appearances, Raphael was a guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in late 2010. She was joined by other former talk show hosts including Montel Williams, Ricki Lake, and Phil Donahue.

Personal Life

In 1953, Raphael married her first husband, Andrew Vladimir; they had two daughters named Allison and Andrea before divorcing in 1958. Allison passed away from an accidental drug overdose at the age of 33 in 1992.

Raphael married her second husband, Karl Soderlund, in 1962. The couple had a son named Jason, and remained together until Soderlund's passing in 2020.

Real Estate

In 1997 Sally and Karl paid $1.7 million for a 25-acre estate in the upstate New York town of Pawling. Known as Elmwood Farm, prior to their purchase the estate had been in the same family for nine generations. The estate features a 43-room mansion, two caretaker homes, a carriage house, yoga studio AND a 12,000 square foot barn. The 15,000 square foot primary mansion has 17 bedrooms, 9 baths and 10 fireplaces. In November 2023 Sally listed Elmwood Farm for sale for $6.5 million.

Sally also owns a townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, which she purchased in 1993. Today this property could be worth $8-10 million.

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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