For men and women who aspire to a career in show business and perhaps one day to have a media empire of their own, particularly African Americans, two personalities – Oprah Winfrey and Steve Harvey have built a successful media business from a background that many would be able to relate to. While Oprah Winfrey’s story might fall into the extreme on both sides of the coin, the story of how Steve Harvey built his media empire is a perfect story of rags to riches.
Steve Harvey has built a media empire that includes a career as a comedian, radio star, bestselling author, game show host, and actor. Through his various endeavors, he has amassed a net worth of $160 million, that allows him to live a luxurious life, a huge contrast to his background.
For many who are already familiar with his story, it is inspiring, and for those who would like to know, we detail how Steve Harvey built his media empire below.
How Steve Harvey Built His Media Empire
Before he became the iconic Steve Harvey with his recognizable bald head and a full mustache, before he built his media empire and became a wealthy man, he was a struggling man who grew up in West Virginia. He was born on the 17th of January, 1957 and studied to college level. However, the promise of a comfortable life after college turned out to be a lie for him as his efforts at various careers like an insurance salesman, postman and even one in sports as a professional boxer failed to return the desired success.
Steve Harvey found his passion in comedy but he suffered for a while as quitting his other jobs for a career as a standup comedian did not turn out to be the automatic transformation of fortunes he hoped for. With the burden of raising a family, he struggled to make ends meet on the sporadic and low paychecks of an aspiring standup comedian.
His struggling years saw Steve sleep in his car while using swimming pool showers, gas stations, and hotel bathrooms to wash up. According to an interview he granted to People magazine, the cycle of poverty and struggling lasted three years.
Eventually, his talent paved a way for him and a performance that sent him to the finals of the Second Annual Johnnie Walker National Comedy Search in 1989 was the start of a turnaround for him. He began to get better shows and in 1993, he finally hit the jackpot when he got his chance to host Showtime at the Apollo, sparking the foundation of his expansive media empire.
Afterward, he landed his own sitcom, The Steve Harvey Show on the WB network, lasting six years between 1996 and 2002. It would be the first of several eponymous shows for the comedian. Between his time on the show, he returned to life as a standup comedian in a national wide tour in partnership with other comedy acts like Bernie Mac, D.L Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer. The tour was a huge success, enough that famed director, Spike Lee made a movie out of it – The Original Kings of Comedy.
As Steve Harvey grew in popularity, he began to build his media empire, first by launching his radio show, The Steve Harvey Morning Show. The success of the show learned both awards and appearances in movies like Johnson Family Vacation, Racing Stripes and Fighting Temptations.
Steve Harvey continued to leverage on his popularity and wrote books such as Act Like a Success, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, and several others. Four of his books have made their way on New York Times Bestsellers list and one of them has been made into a movie.
Since he established himself as a man capable of connecting with his audience, he has built his media empire across a variety of shows. He began to host the classic show, Family Feud in 2010, has been hosting Miss Universe since 2015, Steve Harvey since 2012, Steve, and a few others.
Through an expansive career that includes working as a producer, a writer, and an actor, as well as the syndication of some of his popular shows, Steve Harvey has built a media empire that has earned him a net worth of $160 million.
Steve Harvey has built a very successful media empire and depending on how you look at marriage, you could also say he has had a successful personal life. The West Virginia born comedian has been married three times and has seven children from his three marriages. His current wife is Marjorie Bridges, having been married to her since 2007.