What Was Harry Houdini's Net Worth At The Time Of His Death?

Just mentioning the name Harry Houdini conjures images of an escape artist who was above and beyond everyone else in the business. The man, who was born in Hungary as Ehrich Weisz, revolutionized his industry and enjoys a legendary status to this day. Which is obviously great, but have you ever wondered just how much the whole "escaping a giant aquarium while locked in a strait jacket" industry pays? How much money would someone in that line of work have the ability to amass over a lifetime? Well, look no further — here's how much Harry Houdini was worth when he died. 

Harry Houdinin was worth $500,000 when he died

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Houdini was worth around $500,000 in 1926 dollars. While by no means a bad amount, you'd kind of expect a noted performer, President of the Society of American Magicians and a man of considerable historical stature to be at least a millionaire — but hey, no one ever said that a performing arts career made for an easy living. Besides, back in the olden days, there just wasn't as much money in, well, anything as there is today. Even a mega-rich businessman/inventor like Thomas Edison, who one might assume was a billionaire many times over, "only" left an estate of $170 million or so. For a modern reference, noted Instagram beard-haver Dan Bilzerian is worth more than that. 

Another reason why Houdini may not have been quite as wealthy as you'd expect is that he appeared to be motivated by other things than money. He constantly strove to perform more and more magnificent tricks with lots of complex hardware, which can't have been all that cheap. He was also involved in two presumably rather expensive failures: His utterly unimpressive movie career, and his failed attempt to become the first successful aviator in Australia. It's also worth noting that he died at the relatively young age of 52, so he likely missed quite a few years of cashing in on his hard-fought iconic status. Still, despite his comparatively unimpressive monetary might, he became a bona fide legend, and in the end, that just might be what he really wanted all along. So, all in all ... good job, Houdini.