David Letterman is a former host of late night shows, writer, comedian, actor, and producer. He hosted late night television talk shows for 33 years, starting from February 1, 1982, debut of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC, and finishng with the May 20, 2015, broadcast of Late Show with David Letterman on CBS
David Letterman Biography
Dave was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 12, 1947, to Harry Joseph (Joe) Letterman and mother Dorothy Letterman. He grew up with three of his siblings in Indiana. After high school, he graduated as an average student from the Department of Radio and Television at the Ball State University, Muncie Indiana.
Letterman began his broadcasting career as a disc jockey on WAGO-AM 570, a radio station run by students. He then became an all-purpose announcer on an Indianapolis station, WLWI. He introduced movies, was a substitute weatherman, hosted a children’s program, and was a news anchor. He moved to Los Angeles in 1975 to expand his show business to include comedy writing and stand-up comedy. He began writing, hosting and appearing in a number of TV shows including “The Starland Vocal Band Show”, “Peeping Times”, “Mork & Mindy”, “The Mike Douglas Show”, and more.
From 1978, he began making frequent appearances on “The Tonight Show With John Carson” after his sarcastic humor attracted scouts for the show. In 1980 he got his own morning show, “The David Letterman Show” on NBC but though it received critical acclaim, and even won him two Emmy’s the ratings were poor causing NBC to cancel the show. However, when the show was rescheduled for a late night spot and renamed “Late Night With David Letterman”, the ratings increased and soared. It ran from 1982 to 1993.
After John Carson’s 1992 retirement from NBC’s Tonight Show, Letterman longed to replace him but when the spot was instead offered to Jay Leno, Letterman left NBC for CBS. His CBS “Late Show With David Letterman” debuted on 30th August 1993 and lasted until his retirement on May 20th, 2015. Initially, David earned $14 million annually from the show, double of what he was making from NBC’s “Late Night With David Letterman”, the earnings soared eventually to $20 million and $50 million annually by 2007, but in the later years of the show, his earnings dropped back to $20 million due to the reduced viewership. Its advertising revenue declined to $114.5 million compared to the $271 million it made in previous years. The final CBS show received 13.76 million views in the US.
David Michael Letterman has a production company, Worldwide Pants Inc. which produced his Late Show and other shows including The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. One of its most successful production is “Everybody Loves Raymond” which is currently in syndication. Worldwide Pants has also produced movies and TV series including “Strangers with Candy” (2005) and “The Knights Of Prosperity” (2007).
With the wealth his talent brought him, Letterman branched into the real estate business. He owns a number of properties including a 108-acre estate in New York that he bought for $10 million, a 2,700-acre ranch in Montana, houses in St. Barth’s, Martha’s Vineyard and Massachusetts. He owns a fleet of Ferraris worth $1.2 million.
Dave is a co-owner of Rahal Letterman Racing, an Indy Racing team. The other owners are Bobby Rahal (former Indianapolis 500 Winner) and Mike Lanigan.
David is also very charitable, via his American Foundation for Courtesy and Grooming, he has donated millions to numerous non-profit organizations such as the American Cancer Society, and Doctors Without Borders. He also established the Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship at his Alma mater, Ball State University, Muncie Indiana
Sometime in 2005, police discovered a plot to kidnap David’s son Harry Letterman (b. 2003), as a result of this, the family keeps a low social profile.
In 2009, someone tried to blackmail Dave in an attempt to ruin his reputation. He accused him of having sex with a number of female employees (which was true) and demanded $2 million. With help from the Manhattan D.A. office, they gave a fake check, which led to the arrest of the blackmailer while he attempted to cash the check. The culprit who turned out to be Joe Halderman, a producer at CBS News was charged and served a 6-month sentence.
In 2000, Dave underwent a quintuple bypass heart surgery. He also suffers from Tinnitus, aka ringing in the ears, a symptom of hearing loss.
David Letterman Net Worth
David Letterman’s net worth may not increase as it did during his career as the late night TV host. He will, however, make some substantial money from production, his real estate projects, and other side engagements. Presently, his net worth sits pretty at $400 million.
David Letterman Family: Mother, Relationships, Marriage and Kids
Letterman’s mother was born Dorothy Marie Hofert in Linton, Indiana, USA. She had German ancestry from her maternal grandparents who were German. She had two siblings, a younger brother, Earl Jr(1922-2009) and sister, Hazel(1923-2017).
She married Harry Joseph a florist in 1942 while she worked as a secretary at her church; sadly, Harry passed away in 1973. She, however, got remarried to Hans Mengering, a retired engineer and decorated World War II veteran, hence her name change from Letterman to Mengering.
She was featured regularly on her son’s Late Night Show sometimes via phone calls or live appearances. She also served as a correspondent/ host who provided nightly coverage of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.
Letterman has been involved in quite a number of relationships in the past, while some are popular and in the know of the public, others are not. However, his most significant relationships started with his college sweetheart Michelle Cook (born on July 2, 1946) whom he later married on July 2, 1968, in Muncie, Indiana. Unfortunately, this marriage ended in a divorce October of 1977 that is after nine years of marriage.
After his divorce from ex-wife Michelle, he became involved with the former head producer and writer on the Late Night Show “Merrill Markoe” (born on 13 of August 19448). They moved in together and dated for years before calling it quits.
On his third serious relationship, he dated Regina Lasko who was born in November 1960. It is on record that this new relationship with Regina Lasko started in February 1986 when he was still dating and living with his then-girlfriend Michelle. Letterman and Regina had a son Harry Joseph Letterman on the 3rd of November 2003. Harry was named after Letterman’s father. A plot to kidnap Harry (1.5 years old at the time) was discovered in 2015 and reported to the authorities by an individual who was contacted by one of Letterman’s employees who wanted him as an accomplice in a bid to pressure Letterman into paying $5 million in ransom. The culprit’s name is Kelly Allen Frank who was employed at letterman’s Montana ranch.
After 23 years of living together, Letterman decided to marry Lasko officially in 2009.