Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#253 George Lucas $6.25B

Random fact: Star Wars cost was $11 million; 1997 restoration, $15 million.

Overview

Lucas created Lucasfilm, the business behind the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. These two franchises have collected more than $9 billion in global ticket sales since 1977. He sold the Marin County, California-based production company, including Industrial Light and Magic, to Disney for $4.1 billion in 2012.

As of July 26, 2017:
Last change -$23.0M (-0.4%)
YTD change +$186M (+3.1%)
Industry Entertainment
Biggest asset DIS US Equity
Citizenship United States
Age 73
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

George Lucas's net worth of $6.25B can buy ...

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of U.S. existing home sales
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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Lucas's fortune is derived from the sale of Lucasfilm and special effects operation Industrial Light & Magic to Disney in October 2012. He received $2.2 billion in cash and 37.1 million shares of Disney in the transaction, according a March 2013 bond prospectus. His stake hasn't been disclosed since then. This calculation assumes the billionaire hasn't sold any shares since 2013, making him the largest individual shareholder in the film and theme park operator behind Laurene Powell Jobs.

As a closely held company, Lucasfilm produced the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. Together, the 12 films from these two franchises have collected more than $9 billion in worldwide ticket sales, according to box-office reporting service Box Office Mojo. This calculation asserts that Lucas invested almost all of his proceeds from the movies -- as well as merchandise royalties -- back into Lucasfilm and the effects business prior to their sale to Disney.

The value of Skywalker Ranch is based on the average price per square foot of recent land sales in Marin County, California according to Zillow, a real estate and rental market website. That average price is then applied to the acreage of Skywalker Ranch, which was reported as about 6,000 acres in the New York Times on Oct. 16, 2016.

About 5,000 acres of the land have been put into a perpetual conservation easement with the Marin County Agricultural Land Trust. The value of that property has been reduced by 40 percent to account for restrictions on its development. Original purchase prices for each parcel listed by the Marin County Assessor's Office are removed from the final value to account for the cost of acquiring the property.

Connie Wethington, a Lucas representative, said that Mr Lucas declined to comment on his net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 5/14/1944
Family: Married, 4 children
Education: 1966, University of Southern California, Graduated Modesto Junior College

George Lucas was born in Modesto, California, in 1944, the son of Dorothy and George Lucas Sr., a stationery store owner. He abandoned his ambition to become a race driver after a severe car crash, and turned his attention to filmmaking. He enrolled at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts where he landed a degree in fine arts. He tried joining the U.S. Air Force as an officer, and was turned down because of his many speeding tickets.

Lucas re-enrolled at USC as a master's student in film production in 1967. He formed a production shop with director Francis Ford Coppola, and released his first feature, "THX 1138." The movie flopped. Shortly after founding a new production company, Lucasfilm, he directed "American Graffiti," which landed him an Oscar nomination.

He then created the Star Wars trilogy and became involved with writing and producing the Indiana Jones films with Steven Spielberg. Both movies franchises became some of the highest-grossing films of all time. Lucas owned the licensing and merchandising rights for his movies and contractual arrangements for sequels. He also created Industrial Light & Magic, a special effects business, and LucasArts, a video-games producer.

Lucas sold Lucasfilm, including the movie and merchandising rights to the two franchises, Industrial Light & Magic and LucasArts, to Disney for $4.05 billion in cash and stock in October 2012. He owns the Skywalker Ranch in Nicasio, California.

Lucas married Mellody Hobson, the president of Chicago investment firm Ariel Investments, in 2013. They have four children.

Milestones
  • 1944 George Lucas is born in Modesto, California.
  • 1962 Almost dies after crashing his Fiat Bianchina into a walnut tree.
  • 1963 Enrolls at USC's School of Cinema-Television.
  • 1969 Creates production company with Francis Ford Coppola.
  • 1971 Forms Lucasfilm and releases Oscar-nominated "American Graffiti."
  • 1977 Releases "Star Wars IV: A New Hope" with a budget of $11 million.
  • 1981 First Indiana Jones film, "Raiders of the Lost Ark," is released.
  • 1999 Second Star Wars trilogy begins with release of "The Phantom Menace."
  • 2010 Signs the Giving Pledge to give half his fortune to charity.
  • 2012 Sells Lucasfilm to Disney for $4 billion in cash and stock.