Top 10 Richest Talk Show Hosts of All Time

Daytime? Late night? Who is got the most coin in their purse?

You know who the richest late night talk shows are. And you know who the richest daytime talk show hosts are, too. But who makes the list if you combine the two? But who makes the list if you look at all of time? We wanted to find out. And here's the answer to the question.

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Oprah Winfrey: $3.2 billion

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey
Talk show host and media icon Oprah Winfrey. Getty Images

Technically, Oprah is no longer a daytime talk show host. But as an executive producer on a number of popular daytime shows, CEO of her own TV network, The Oprah Winfrey Network, primetime talk show host and so much more, it's hard not to just include her in this list anyway. After all, the woman makes more than most small countries. Her net worth tops $2.7 billion and Oprah counts more than $315 million a year in income.

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Merv Griffin: $1 billion

Talk show host Merv Griffin
Talk show host Merv Griffin. Getty Images

The late Merv Griffin, a former daytime talk show host who is probably better known for creating game shows like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, was worth more than $1 billion when he was around to spend it. The talk show host began his career in 1948 as a big band singer, the crooner behind the hit song I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Cocoanuts. Success pushed him into the television business, and Griffin drew smiles as a game show host and guest host for Jack Paar on The Tonight Show. His daytime show ran for more than 20 years.

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David Letterman: $400 million

David Letterman celebrates Howard Stern's birthday
David Letterman celebrates Howard Stern's birthday. Larry Busacca/Getty Images

The king of late night, David Letterman, host of the takes a back seat to Oprah. Letterman has a net worth of $400 million and makes $50 million a year. Letterman's cash comes from his hosting gig, which brings in about $14 million a year, as well as income from his production company, Worldwide Pants, and real estate investments.

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Jay Leno: $350 million

Jay Leno and Billy Crystal on 'The Tonight Show'
Jay Leno and Billy Crystal on 'The Tonight Show'. Getty Images

Though he often lands at No. 1 in ratings, Tonight Show host Jay Leno sits behind Letterman with a net worth of $250 million and an annual salary of about $25 million. Leno collects his extra cash through an extensive line-up of stand-up shows across the country.

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Ellen DeGeneres: $330 million

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. Getty Images

Here's our friend Ellen DeGeneres, host of , the true inheritor of Oprah Winfrey's audience. But even though she may be the next darling of daytime, she hasn't quite matched Oprah's net worth. Nope, Ellen only makes about $45 million a year. Stand-up and other investments have her counting a $105 million net worth.

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Johnny Carson: $300 million

Former 'Tonight Show' host Johnny Carson
Former 'Tonight Show' host Johnny Carson. Getty Images

The late night icon was worth $300 million when he passed away in 2005. Johnny Carson will be forever known as the king of late night television. His 30 years as host of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson serves as an achievement - both in longevity and artistically - for current and future talk show hosts to aspire.

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Dr. Phil McGraw: $300 million

The Museum of Television & Radio Presents Behind the Scenes with 'Dr. Phil'
WireImage / Getty Images

A Winfrey protégé, in a way, Dr. Phil McGraw, host of The Dr. Phil Show, is No. 4 on our list. Dr. Phil has a net worth of $200 million, including his $50 million annual salary. That's not all from his show, of course, but a series of popular branded products, a private practice and so much more.

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Sharon Osbourne: $220 million

Sharon Osbourne
Image © Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic / Getty Images

The daytime talk show host made her $220 million fortune mostly in the music business, managing various groups alongside her estranged father, including her husband, rock icon Ozzy Osbourne. Today she’s the outspoken co-host of The Talk.

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Barbara Walters: $170 million

Barbara Walters, 1993
Barbara Walters, 1993. Frank Capri/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The View

, as well as her work with ABC News and Walters work in production, sees the world class journalist with a net worth of $150 million.

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Rosie O'Donnell: $120 million

Rosie O'Donnell
'View' co-host Rosie O'Donnell. Robin Marchant/Getting Images

On-again, off-again talk show host Rosie O’Donnell reinvented the daytime talk show world when she launched The Rosie O’Donnell Show in 1996. The show was meant to be the exact opposite of the mean-spirited tabloid talk show movement prevalent at the time. It was a hit. Today the comedian, actress and talk show host is worth $120 million.

Runners up

Not everyone can crack the top 10. Otherwise, we wouldn't have a top 10. Here are a few of the runners up!

Conan O’Brien, $85 million; Jon Stewart, $80 million; Rachael Ray, $60 million; Katie Couric, $55 million; Whoopi Goldberg, $45 million; Jimmy Kimmel, $35 million; Jimmy Fallon, $25 million.