Richest Politicians
Net Worth:
$6 Million
Feb 27, 1934 (89 years old)
6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Lawyer, Politician, Author, Activist, Actor, Teacher
United States of America
💰 Compare Ralph Nader's Net Worth

What is Ralph Nader's Net Worth?

Ralph Nader is an American political activist, author, and attorney who has a net worth of $6 million. Ralph Nader ran for US president four times between 1996 and 2008. A staunch advocate for consumer protection and environmentalism, among other issues, he first ran with the Green Party and later as an independent. As an author, Nader has penned numerous books, including the bestselling exposé "Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile." Nader first gained prominence with his book "Unsafe at Any Speed" which criticized the safety standards (or lack thereof) of the auto industry. This book, along with Nader's continued advocacy for more stringent safety standards in cars, eventually led to the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act passing unanimously in 1966. It wasn't without a fight, however – Nader had to sue General Motors over their intensive surveillance and attempts to blackmail him. Ralph Nader went on to be a crusader for many other causes throughout the years, including the environment, corporate corruption, false advertising, and nuclear energy. He's also started dozens of nonprofit organizations for many varied causes.

2000 Wealth Disclosure

In 2000, as part of his Presidential campaign, Ralph released a financial disclosure in which he estimated his net worth to be $3.5 million. That's the same as around $6 million in today's after adjusting for inflation. In interviews after disclosing his finances, Nader claimed to donate 80% of his after-tax income every year. The statement showed that he owned a home in Connecticut without debt that today is worth $200-300,000, a basket of stocks, and several market money funds.

In the disclosure Nader revealed that between 1967 and 2000 he made $14 million in income from book royalties, interest income, television and speaking fees. The vast majority of those millions came from speaking fees and book royalties related to "Unsafe at Any Speed." He claimed to earn $200-300,000 per year from speaking fees for 30 years up to that point, earning on average $5-15,000 per speech. Fees for television appearances amount to $25,000 per year.

Early Life and Education

Ralph Nader was born on February 27, 1934 in Winsted, Connecticut to Lebanese immigrants Rose and Nathra. He has two sisters named Laura and Claire, and had a brother named Shafeek who passed away in 1986. Growing up, Nader occasionally helped at his father's restaurant, and worked as a newspaper delivery boy for the local Register Citizen paper. He was educated at the Gilbert School as a youth. Nader went on to attend Princeton University, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1955. Subsequently, he enrolled at Harvard Law School. Bored with his classes there, he would often skip out to hitchhike across the country, doing field research on migrant worker rights. Nader eventually graduated from Harvard in 1958.

Career Beginnings

Following his graduation from Harvard, Nader briefly served as a cook in the US Army. Returning to civilian life in 1959, he was admitted to the bar and began practicing law in Hartford, Connecticut. Additionally, Nader lectured at the University of Hartford, and traveled to places including Chile and the Soviet Union to file dispatches for the Nation and the Christian Science Monitor. In 1964, he relocated to Washington, DC to become a consultant to Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Rise to Fame

Nader rose to fame in 1965 with the publication of his bestselling, highly influential non-fiction exposé "Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile." A damning critique of the safety record of American car manufacturers, the book caused such a stir that General Motors engaged in various illicit activities to try to discredit Nader, including tapping his phone and hiring prostitutes to entrap him. Nader ended up successfully suing GM for invasion of privacy, and used his settlement money to found the activist organization Center for the Study of Responsive Law. Moreover, a year after the publication of "Unsafe at Any Speed," Congress unanimously enacted the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

Nader's Raiders

Using his newfound clout, Nader recruited seven volunteer law students in 1968 to evaluate the efficacy of the Federal Trade Commission. The students, dubbed "Nader's Raiders," ultimately produced a report that led to an American Bar Association investigation of the FTC. This resulted in a major reform of consumer protection and antitrust laws by President Nixon. Meanwhile, Nader went on to found the watchdog group Public Citizen.

Ralph Nader Net Worth

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Activism in the 70s and 80s

In the 70s, Nader became heavily involved in environmental activism. He served as a central leader in the antinuclear power movement and formed the Critical Mass Energy Project, which eventually became the largest national antinuclear organization in the country. Nader also continued to work with his group Public Citizen to advocate for consumer rights and public accountability. His efforts led to the enactment of several federal laws, including the Freedom of Information Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, and the Whistleblower Protection Act.

Presidential Bids

Nader's name was first floated for a possible presidential bid in 1971, when he was offered the opportunity to run with the New Party. However, he ultimately declined the offer. His first real presidential campaign was in 1996, when he ran with the Green Party and qualified for ballot status in 22 states. Nader garnered 685,297 votes for a fourth-place finish in the election. He ran again with the Green Party in 2000, earning 2,883,105 votes and coming in third. Nader's candidacy in that closely contested election has been credited with giving George W. Bush the victory.

In 2004, Nader launched his third presidential bid, this time as an independent. He garnered 463,655 votes for a third-place finish. Running again as an independent in 2008, Nader racked up 738,475 votes for another third-place finish.

Other Endeavors

Among his other activities, Nader founded the advocacy groups the Congressional Accountability Project and the D.C. Library Renaissance Project. In 2014, he began co-hosting the weekly "Ralph Nader Radio Hour" with Steve Skrovan and David Feldman. The year after that, Nader founded the American Museum of Tort Law in his hometown of Winsted. Notably, it is the first law museum in the United States.


Nader has written or co-written a surfeit of books since his 1965 breakthrough with "Unsafe at Any Speed." Titles include "Action for a Change," "You and Your Pension," "Corporate Power in America," "The Big Boys," and "Crashing the Party." Nader later ventured into fiction writing with his 2009 book "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!," a roman à clef featuring characters modeled after Ted Turner, Warren Buffett, and Grover Norquist. He penned another fiction book, the fable collection "Animal Envy," in 2016.

Personal Life

Nader has never married. Known to be borderline ascetic, he lives a modest life in a relatively unassuming apartment and mostly depends on public transportation. Nader is somewhat notorious for his frumpy style of dress, largely consisting of suits bought at outlet stores.

Nader is the subject of the 2006 documentary film "An Unreasonable Man," directed by Steve Skrovan and Henriette Mantel.

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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