Michael Milken Net Worth Amidst Criminal Scandal

Michael Milken, an American financier and philanthropist, boasts a net worth of $6.5 billion.

Recognized for his involvement in developing high-yield bonds, also known as junk bonds, Milken has had a complex career trajectory.

During his tenure at Drexel Burnham Lambert between 1983 and 1987, Milken amassed over $1 billion in compensation, with $550 million earned in 1987 alone, equivalent to approximately $1.5 billion today.

However, legal troubles arose in 1989, leading to his indictment on 98 counts of securities fraud and racketeering.

Michael Milken Net Worth
Michael Milken Net Worth

The court eventually sentenced him to a ten-year prison term but later reduced it to two years.

He served 22 months and the Securities and Exchange Commission permanently barred him from the securities industry.

Milken also settled for a $200 million fine and $400 million in civil settlements.

Post-release, Milken delved into extensive philanthropic endeavors, focusing notably on combatting fatal diseases, especially cancer.

Additionally, he played a significant role in conceptualizing the “Opportunity Zone” tax incentive.

Michael Milken Early Life and Education

Born on July 4, 1946, in Encino, California, to a middle-class Jewish family, Milken attended Birmingham High School, where he led the cheerleading squad.

He later pursued higher education, earning a bachelor of science degree from the University of California, Berkeley, followed by an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Category Information
Net Worth $6 Billion
Birthdate Jul 4, 1946 (77 years old)
Birthplace Encino
Gender Male
Profession Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Banker, Financier
Nationality United States of America


Michael Milken Net Worth: Career In Private Equity

Milken began his career in private equity by securing a summer position at the investment bank Drexel Harriman Ripley through connections with his professors at Wharton.

He climbed the ranks to become the director of low-grade bond research and was granted permission to trade.

Following a merger in 1973, Milken became head of convertibles at the newly formed Drexel Burnham.

He successfully launched a high-yield bond trading department, which quickly generated significant returns.

In 1976, estimates put his annual income at around $5 million, prompting him to relocate his operations to Los Angeles.

By the mid-1980s, Milken had established a vast network of high-yield bond buyers, enabling him to raise substantial funds rapidly.

His financing activities played a pivotal role in supporting various leveraged buyout firms.

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Michael Milken Net Worth: Criminal Scandal

However, Milken’s career was marred by a criminal scandal.

In 1979, the Securities and Exchange Commission started scrutinizing him for unethical and illegal activities in high-yield bonds.

Investigations didn’t progress until 1986 when Ivan Boesky’s revelations led to an SEC probe into Drexel.

Milken’s plea bargaining led to his departure from Drexel and the founding of International Capital Access Group.

In 1990, he admitted to multiple tax and securities violations, agreeing to significant fines and a lifetime securities industry ban.

Initially facing ten years, his cooperation reduced his sentence to two years, of which he served 22 months.

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Philanthropic Engagement

Following his release from prison in 1993, Michael Milken faced a new challenge: a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

In response, he took action by founding the Prostate Cancer Foundation, aiming to raise funds for research into the illness.

Collaborating with Major League Baseball’s Home Run Challenge, the Foundation actively promotes awareness and research initiatives.

Milken himself is recognized for his presence at numerous ballparks and appearances on baseball broadcasts leading up to Father’s Day.

In addition to his commitment to battling cancer, Milken established the Milken Family Foundation and serves as chairman of the Milken Institute.

Through the latter, he initiated FasterCures, a think tank focused on enhancing the efficiency of research into life-threatening diseases.

Milken’s philanthropic efforts extend beyond health causes, with his family contributing $1.5 billion to various charitable organizations.

Notably, George Washington University renamed its school of public health after Milken in recognition of a substantial $50 million donation.

Personal Life

In 1968, Milken married his high school sweetheart, Lori Anne Hackel, and together they have three children.

Milken reportedly adheres to a health-conscious, vegetarian-like diet, a lifestyle reflected in his co-authorship of a vegan cookbook.

Real Estate

Despite his immense wealth, Michael and Lori Milken continue to reside in the same home they purchased in 1977 for $587,500.

Their property spans 1.1 acres and boasts a 7,000 square foot, 7-bedroom home nestled amidst lush surroundings, complete with a tennis court, pool, and expansive lawn.

In contrast, Milken’s children have pursued more lavish real estate ventures.

In January 2009, their son Gregory acquired a home in LA’s Pacific Palisades neighborhood for $14.5 million.

Although Gregory listed this property for sale in February 2023 for $64 million, it remains unsold as of the latest update.

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