Michael Jordan becomes first pro athlete on Forbes 400 list

AP, Chuck Burton

Michael Jordan is still making history. The 60-year-old basketball legend became the first-ever athlete on the Forbes 400 list.

For the last 42 years, Forbes has released a list of the top 400 wealthiest people in the country. This week, they revealed list for 2023. The Basketball Hall of Famer is now estimated to be worth $3 billion, making this the first time in history that a professional athlete has nabbed a spot on the Forbes 400.

AP, Chuck Burton

MORE: Michael Jordan opened a second medical clinic for low-income families

Jordan’s ascent into this rarefied financial atmosphere was more than the result of athletic skill. His wise financial investments and lucrative endorsement deals helped to make the Brooklyn native a modern-day Midas.

Ted Leonsis, owner of the owner of the Washington Capitals, Mystics and Wizards, who has partnered with the NBA star over the years, says Jordan is a history-maker not only on the court, but in the boardroom.

“Michael’s one of the few people that have had success three times,” Leonsis tells Forbes. “A lot of entrepreneurs, they make it once. They have a big win, take their winnings, retire and [we] never hear from them again, or they try something a second time and it doesn’t work. He’s had three mega successes.”

This includes his supernatural success in the NBA, as well as his licensing deal with Nike, which earned Jordan $256 million in 2022 alone.

MORE: Michael Jordan’s best NBA teammates, ranked

AP, Chuck Burton

But it was his investment in the Charlotte Hornets that helped Jordan achieve a spot on the Forbes 400. He bought a majority share in the Hornets in 2010 for $275 million. He sold his share last year for $3 billion — for a profit of $2 billion.

It’s rare for a professional athlete to become a billionaire. Jordan was the first to earn that title in 2014. Later, pro golfer Tiger Woods and former NBA star LeBron James also joined that exclusive list. Now, Jordan has set another record by becoming the first athlete to ever reach the Forbes 400 list.

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Bridget Sharkey
Bridget Sharkey is a freelance writer covering pop culture, beauty, food, health and nature.

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