Here's Who Inherited George Harrison's Money After He Died

"You've got as many lives as you like, and more, even ones you don't want." George Harrison once spoke these now-iconic words (per Brainy Quote). Regardless of the number of proverbial lives the late Beatles guitarist may or may not have lived, there's no question as to the number of lives he touched. In addition to being a founding member of The Beatles and one of the most sacred portraits of artistry in recent history, Harrison garnered a community of loved ones and fans who will never forget what was offered during his life.

George Harrison joined The Beatles when he was only 15 years old. Despite his youth, he defied any expectation of ineptitude and would go on to write some of the band's most notable hits including "Here Comes the Sun" and "Something." Sadly, a career that started at a young age would also end at a young age, and in 2001 when he was only 58, Harrison died of cancer in the company of his wife Olivia and their son Dhani (via History). According to the Oral Cancer Foundation and Rolling Stone, Harrison's cancer originated in his throat, yet after what was deemed successful treatment, cancer was discovered in his lungs a couple of years later. It also spread to his brain.

Who was George Harrison's family?

George Harrison was married two times — first to Pattie Boyd in 1966 and then to Olivia Arias (Olivia Harrison) in 1978. His courtship with Boyd, despite the unsavory end it came to, became one of the most famous love stories in music history. While the two were still together, Eric Clapton — who was friends with Harrison at the time — famously fell madly in love with Boyd and professed his feelings to her through a letter he sent personally. He also wrote the song "Layla" about her. After Harrison and Boyd called it quits in 1977, she married Eric Clapton and stayed with him for 12 years (per Groovy History). 

It wasn't until his second marriage to Olivia Arias in 1978 that George Harrison became a father. In August of that same year, the couple welcomed a son, Dhani — the only child Harrison ever had (via Biography).

Who inherited George Harrison's fortune?

At the time of his death, George Harrison's net worth hovered around $400 million. Despite his successful Beatles legacy and the royalties that he drew from his contributions to the band, the bulk of Harrison's income can be attributed to his solo career (via Showbiz CheatSheet). In addition to the inheritance that family members received following his death, numerous charities — including George Harrison's Material World Foundation — became beneficiaries of his will. In 2020, The Material World Foundation donated $500,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts (per NME).

As one might expect, the primary recipients of Harrison's fortune were Dhani and Olivia. The bulk of his $400 million dollar earnings, as well as any and all royalties from his music, went to his widow and son. At the time of his death, George Harrison was the second richest Beatle, second only to Paul McCartney (via Rock Celebrities).

Dhani Harrison plays music like his father

Like his father before him, Dhani Harrison has made a living on stage and in the sound booth as a professional musician. At the age of 43, he remains active within the music community and pays homage to his father's legacy through his work. In 2021, Harrison, alongside collaborator and fellow musician Paul Hicks, executive-produced a refurbished version of his late father's iconic album "All Things Must Pass" for the record's 50th anniversary (via Guitar World). 

"Dad had obviously built up so many songs after The Beatles," Dhani explained while reflecting on "All Things Must Pass." "They didn't get their day in court, you know? So he went big. Paul and John had already had their big arrangements with things like 'A Day in the Life,' 'I Am the Walrus,' and 'Penny Lane.' I think Dad wanted that kind of treatment and attention for his own songs" (per Showbiz Cheat Sheet).

Olivia Harrison remembers her husband

Twenty years after her husband's death, Olivia Harrison leads a life of substance as an author, film producer, and philanthropist. She has devoted much of her time and financial resources to helping those in need through entities like UNICEF and George Harrison's Material World Foundation, according to ABTC, who also reports that she along with former Beatles Paul McCartney, Ringo Star, and the late John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, run the Beatles' ongoing business operations through their company Apple Corps. She also regularly attends events and ceremonies commemorating George alongside his former bandmate (per Showbiz Cheat Sheet). Olivia Harrison never remarried following her husband's death, but she remains close with her son. 

In a 2021 interview with The LA Times, Olivia Harrison shared in regards to the re-release of George Harrison's 1970 extended album, "All Things Must Past," "He knew it helped people in their lives — people wrote to him, they told him. And he said, 'Even if it's one person, even if it helps somebody, then that's great.' But he wasn't concerned about how he would be remembered. Not that he didn't want to be remembered, but he didn't expect to be remembered. Which I always thought was impossible."