Monday, 22 August 2016

5 Great Men Who Died Broke

It is one thing to be great and contribute greatly to the world, and it is another thing to actually reap the fruits of your labor in financial rewards. Some people get rich off their contributions to the world, and lost it all all after a couple of years. Some don't even reap the fruits of their labor while alive. Below is a list of 5 great men who died broke, after contributing greatly to the world. 

1.  Joe Louis
People still consider him the greatest boxer of all time. Joe Lewis held the World Heavyweight Championship for a record of 140 months, between 1937-1949. What the heck, right? Yea, he was that much of a great fighter. He earned millions during his time as a professional boxer, but died a broke man in 1981.

2.  Michael Jackson 
The case with Michael was that he was spending way more than he was making. Yea, it might be hard to believe, but the greatest musician of our time, Michael Jackson died broke. Well, according to the king of pop's standards, he died broke. Of cos it wasn't like he couldn't afford three square meals daily, but his debts had gone up to half a billion dollars, and he could no-longer afford to pay his workers regularly at some point. It got so bad that one of his bodyguards said he had to some times fuel Michael's car from his own pocket.  This was why Wacko Jacko really prepared hard for his last concert (a 50 date concert in London), because he believed it would raise him out of debt. But unfortunately, he died while pushing himself too hard for the concert in 2009.

Speaking on the last days spent with Michael Jackson and how he had to some times buy petrol for Michael's car, Bill Whitfield (a former police officer who later became M.J's bodyguard) said...

"I didn't mind doing it. We stayed with him out of loyalty. But there were times we were in hotels and credit cards were being maxed out and management were about to ask us to leave. This was Michael Jackson and I was thinking 'How is this happening?'" (

But of cos, after his death in 2009, his estate started generating ten times more money than Michael had generated in years. His old music was selling, new music was released, and merchandise on him was also selling big time. In 2013, having earned over $160 million, he was regarded as the highest earning musician of the year; dead or alive.

3.  Edgar Allan Poe
Poe was a great writer, but never seemed to make much from his writing. He lived in the first half of the 19th century. Although his name is still popular in the literary hall of fame, he died a broke author. He was more or less a starving artist before he passed away in 1849.

4.  Sammy Davis Jr.
A great musician/dancer/stage actor from the 60s. He made well over $50 million from his music in his lifetime. But by the time he died in 1990, he was broke and in debt of over $15 million to the IRS.

5.  Vincent Van Gogh
I think this is one of the most interesting on the list. Right now, a Van Gogh painting sells for millions of dollars, but it would interest you to know that this man managed to sell just one of his paintings while alive. Just one. But like American rapper Tupac, Vincent Van Gogh had an incredible work ethic. Even though he couldn't find people to buy his paintings, he kept painting anyway, and he died leaving over 2,000 artworks behind. Years of poverty and mental illness made him kill himself in the year 1890, at the age of 37. He didn't even live up to 40, but the Dutch man's creations are some of the most priced possessions in the art world till this day.  He died broke all right, but today, some of his works sell for over a hundred million dollars. Yes, you heard me right. $100 million dollars.

Below are some of his paintings.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...