How Joan Rivers Built Her $150 Million Empire

 Joan Rivers_3Last week it was reported that Melissa Rivers is allegedly set to inherit most of her late mother’s estate, including $75 million in cash and Joan River‘s $35 million upper east side townhouse. Joan Rivers Home_2Though it’s no consolation for losing her mother. We can’t imagine what Melissa is going through and no amount of money will make up for the loss of her mother.

But what is really worth noting is Joan’s unwavering work ethic and drive. Joan had amassed a $150 million fortune. She earned $40 million per year from her QVC enterprise where she reportedly sold over $1 billion in merchandise from her brooches, scarves and dresses.

Since her husband’s death in 1987, Rivers worked non-stop trying to remain in the public eye and earn money to support her lavish lifestyle. Joan Rivers’ manager and husband of 22 years, Edgar Rosenberg, committed suicide after Fox fired them both from their show, “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers”. Her financial state was in complete turmoil, as she was $37 million in debt.

“What it does to you? When you’re in debt for the rest of your life? When you cannot work? When you’re sitting there at fifty-eight years old, and they’re telling you you cannot use your name or your likeness? Try that one on for size…,” Ms. Rivers explained.

The comedian hosted E!’s “Live from the Red Carpet” from 1996 to 2004 and later became a co-host on E!’s “Fashion Police,” which premiered in 2002.

In 2009, at the age of 76, Rivers won NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice.” She later starred alongside daughter Melissa in WE TV’s “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” and constantly made TV cameos. She has also written 13 best-selling books.

Between her various hosting duties and QVC royalties, it’s reported Joan was earning as much as $50 million per year.

“I’m a small industry,” Rivers said of her career in the documentary. “I have an agent, manager, business manager, PR lady, two assistants, and a lawyer. There are certain relatives that I am still supporting, certain friends, and most people who work for me — if they have children I send the children to private school. It goes on and on and on. I’m dancing as fast as I can.”

“I live very, very well, I enjoy my creature comforts and I know I have to work for it,” Rivers said in her 2010 documentary, “A Piece of Work”.

“I can stop and live carefully, but that’s ridiculous; I don’t want to live carefully. So I would rather work and live the way I live and have a wonderful time.”

“I could pull my living in and live OK, but I don’t want to live OK. I’m very happy to live in my penthouse, very happy I can pick up a check, very happy to have a great life, and be able to spread my wealth a little bit.”

At age 81, the comic diva never stopped working.

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