Net Worth: $300 million
Source of Wealth: Television, casinos
Resident of: Beverly Hills
Merv Griffin got his start in show business as a big band singer, but he is best remembered for his daily television talk show, which completed a 23-year run in 1986.
Since then, Griffin divides his time between TV talk-show production and real estate investments. He owns several high-profile hotels, including the Beverly Hills Hilton, as well as big hotel-casinos in Atlantic City and the Bahamas and several riverboat gambling facilities in Illinois and Louisiana. He also owns about 50 race and show horses, a line of greeting cards and a vineyard in Northern California.
Griffin also is the executive producer of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy” a pair of shows he created and later sold to Coca Cola for $250 million.
All of his holdings are operated under the corporate name of Merv Griffin Enterprises.
People who work for Griffin say he’s notorious for getting involved with such apparently trivial details as lighting and designing uniforms for employees. He will, according to employees, select the type of carpets and curtains and decide what color to paint a bathroom wall.
Griffin maintains a residence and an office at the Beverly Hills Hilton and spends most of his weekends at his horse ranch in La Quinta, near Palm Springs. He owns several Rolls Royces and Bentleys as well as an ocean-going yacht, “The Griff.”