Jim Davis Net Worth: Garfield, Career & Lifestyle

Jim Davis
Jim Davis (Source: Noticias ao Minuto)

American cartoonist, screenwriter, and producer Jim Davis’s net worth is a staggering $800 million. 

Davis is best known for creating the wildly popular “Garfield” comic strip.

Since it first began airing in 1978, the comic has followed the daily activities of a cat named Garfield, his owner, and a dog.

All of CBS’s Garfield TV specials, which initially aired between 1982 and 1991, were written by him.

He also developed the CBS television sitcom “Garfield & Friends,” which ran from 1988 until 1994.

Jim Davis
Jim Davis (Source: American Profile)

Similarly, he served as an executive producer for the CGI animated television series “The Garfield Show” and “Garfield Originals.”

Davis was the writer and executive producer for several Garfield-related direct-to-video feature films.

Furthermore, “Tumbleweeds,” “Gnorm Gnat,” and “Mr. Potato Head” are some of Jim’s other well-known comics.

Jim Davis | Quick Facts

To understand more about Jim Davis, let’s look at quick facts.

Birth Name James Robert Davis
Professional Name Jim Davis
Nick Name Davis, Jim
Birth Date July 28, 1945
Age 77 Years Old
Birth Place Marion, Indiana, USA
Height 1.78 m (5 feet 10 inches)
Weight 152 lbs. (69 kg)
Religion Christian
Gender Male
Nationality American
Body Type Average
Eye Color Blue
Hair Color White
Profession Cartoonist, Screenwriter, Producer, Television Writer
Father’s Name James William Davis
Mother’s Name Anna Catherine Davis
Net Worth  $800 Million
Horoscope Leo
Ethnicity White
Sibling Dave Davis
High School Fairmount High School
College Ball State University
Notable Work 
  • Garfield (1978–present)
  • U.S. Acres (1986–1989)
Sexual Orientation Straight
Marital Status Married
Spouse Jill Davis (2000-Present)
Children 4
Active Since 1969-Present
Merch Autographed Bookplate, Signed 20th Anniversary Collection, Signed Garfield Photograph
Social Media TwitterInstagram
Last Update October 2022

Jim Davis | Net Worth and Income

Multi-talented cartoonist, writer, and producer Jim Davis’s net worth is $800 million.

Most of his wealth is derived from the publication of his comics, movies and television productions, and business endeavors.

To be precise, Jim earned his net worth by serializing his famous comic “Garfield.”

The comic initially began its syndication on June 19, 1978, with just 41 newspapers.

About 300 million people were reading it per day as of 2008 when it was syndicated in a staggering 2,580 newspapers.

Universal Press Syndicate announced the publishing of the “Garfield” cartoon in 1994.

Before the transition, United Media distributed Davis’s comic, which was published in over 2,400 newspapers across the globe.

Additionally, David purchased the rights to “Garfield” back from United for an estimated $15 million to $20 million.

His own comic studio and production company, “Paws,” handled licensed merchandise, but he intended for Universal to manage the newspaper distribution of his cartoon series.

Universal scored a major victory with “Garfield.”

Even though the comic strip was already well-known in the syndication industry, Universal could add “Garfield” to more than 100 new papers in a short time.

Albeit much of the “Garfield” licensing was related to Jim’s other agreements, the company also sold a “Garfield” calendar.

The cartoon has become more than just a comic strip; Garfield has evolved.

Likewise, the comic has been adapted into several successful movies.

“Garfield: The Movie” (2004) pulled in $203.2 million, and “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” (2006) made $143.3 million at the global box office.

Net Worth of Jim Davis in Different Currencies

Let’s look into Jim Davis’s net worth in different currencies, including the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Currency Net Worth
Euro € 759,432,000
Pound Sterling £ 652,120,000
Australian Dollar A$ 1,148,484,800
Canadian Dollar C$ 1,036,552,000
Indian Rupee ₹ 62,360,000,000
Bitcoin ฿ 38794.68

Jim Davis | Houses & Cars

Houses

As of October 2022, Jim Davis’s net worth is a massive $800 million.

The creator of the world’s most widely distributed comic strip, Jim lives on a 21-acre property in Delaware County, Albany, Indiana.

Jim Davis House
Jim Davis House (Source: Virtual Globetrotting)

It also serves as the global headquarters for the “Garfield” comics.

Cars

Jim Davis isn’t a huge vehicle enthusiast, unlike most millionaires.

His preference is not to flaunt his automobiles on social media.

However, he may have a few vehicles in his garage that he won’t display to the public.

As of October 2022, Jim Davis’s net worth is a massive $800 million.

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Jim Davis | Lifestyle and Vacation

Lifestyle

Multi-millionaire cartoonist Jim Davis lives a luxurious lifestyle with a net worth of $800 million.

On July 28, 1945, he was born in Marion, Indiana.

He was raised by his mother, Anna, and father, James, and grew up alongside his brother Dave on a cattle farm in Fairmount, Indiana.

He served as the art editor of the newspaper “The Breeze” at Fairmount High School.

Davis created multiple graphics for the yearbook during his final year, where he used the same characters and produced the majority of the pictures for his 1963 senior yearbook.

He joined the Theta Xi fraternity and entered Ball State University to learn art and business after graduating high school.

On July 26, 1969, he wedded Carolyn Altekruse; they had a son named James before divorcing. 

Cartoonist Jim Davis
Cartoonist Jim Davis (Source: Pinterest)

Since July 16, 2000, Davis has been married to Jill, his second wife, and is the stepdad to her two children from a previous relationship.

If it weren’t for his severe asthma attacks as a child, Jim believes he might have been a farmer.

He was compelled to stay inside, away from his usual farm duties, and whiled away the hours sketching.

He improved with practice, but Jim concluded that words and pictures together were more entertaining.

Moreover, he was a stutterer in elementary school, though he does not like to mention it very much.

He stutters just pronouncing the word. Overall, he agrees that he had a relatively beautiful upbringing and considers himself fortunate.

Vacations

Jim likes to go on trips and fill up his travel diaries. However, he prefers not to make the world aware of his travels.

Hence, he tours with full secrecy with his family and friends.

With a net worth of $800 million, we can further assume that Jim is free to travel wherever he pleases.

Jim Davis | Charity

Jim has supported a few NGOs and causes in his long career.

He founded “The Professor Garfield Foundation,” which promotes children’s literacy.

Similarly, he backed the “Shelter Pet Project” in 2017, a public service commercial campaign that aimed to show love for shelter animals.

Furthermore, Davis has aided organizations including “Maddie’s Fund” and the “Neurofibromatosis Foundation.”

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Jim Davis | Movies, Investment, and Endorsement

Movies

Jim has appeared in a few movies and television series that he has written or produced.

The films “Garfield in Disguise” (1985), “Garfield’s Babes and Bullets” (1989), and “Garfield in the Rough” (1984) were written and directed by him.

Jim Movie Poster (Source: IMDb)
Jim Movie Poster (Source: IMDb)

He had cameos in “Garfield” (2004), “Garfield and Friends” (1993), and “Too Close for Comfort” (1968).

Likewise, he has been featured in “Stripped” (2014), “Must Love Cats” (2011), “Mauricio de Sousa” (2009), “Today” (2003), and a few others.

Investments

As of October 2022, Jim Davis’s net worth is a massive $800 million.

Jim is the creator and president of “Paws Inc.,” a studio that oversees the global management of Garfield.

He founded the company in 1981, and there are currently about 50 artists and licensing administrators working there.

Davis is a great boss as he thinks about the well-being of his employees.

It’s natural for people to feel a little indifferent to start the work week again, so Davis is aware of this and avoids organizing meetings on Monday mornings.

His business, “Paws, Inc.,” was purchased by the media giant “ViacomCBS” in 2019.

Similarly, Davis was hired as an adjunct professor at Ball State University in 2016.

Jim teaches the seminars “Drawing as a Cartoonist” and “The Sequential Narrative” in the college.

Moreover, he also delivers the courses “The History and Development of Garfield” and “The Business of Garfield.”

Davis decided to start hosting weekly auctions for the hand-painted “Garfield” comics he produced between 1978 and 2011 in the latter half of 2019.

These auctions have been a good source of profit for Jim.

Endorsements

Jim has endorsed a few brands and products in his career.

In an “American Express” commercial that was a part of the “Do you know me?” campaign, he made an appearance alongside an animated Garfield.

Davis also served as the “FFA chapter” former president in Fairmount, Indiana.

In 1983, the American Academy of Achievement presented him with a “Golden Plate Award,” and in 1988, the State of Indiana presented him with a “Sagamore of the Wabash.”

Jim Davis | Career

Before coming up with “Garfield,” Davis was employed at an advertising agency.

From 1969 to 1978, he worked as Tom Ryan‘s assistant on the “Tumbleweeds” comic strip.

Jim created the “Gnorm Gnat” comic strip while working for Ryan, and it appeared in “The Pendleton Times” from 1973 until 1975.

However, he was informed that “nobody can relate to bugs” when he attempted to sell “Gnorm Gnat” to a national comic strip syndicate.

As a result, Davis took inspiration from the success of Snoopy in the “Peanuts” comic strip and decided to make his furry scene-stealer.

He concluded to make a cat figure the main character of his next strip since he felt the comic market was overrun with doggies.

Davis then ran a comic strip called “Jon in The Pendleton Times” from 1976 to the beginning of 1978, which later became Garfield.

Some Interesting Facts About Jim Davis

  • Jim is not a Monday hater. In fact, he eagerly anticipates them. 
  • He has been nominated for ten Primetime Emmy nominations and won four.
  • Jim received an Inkpot Award in 2016 at the San Diego Comic-Con International.

FAQs

What does Jim Davis think about the success of Garfield?

He considers himself extremely fortunate that Garfield has given him and his family a comfortable life. Jim wasn’t planning on any of this when he began his career as a cartoonist. 

Did Jim Davis’ life inspire Garfield?

Davis believes that, deep down, we are all a little like Garfield. Even if someone is an optimist, everyone has days when they want to curl up beneath the covers and sleep. Jim is also skilled at sarcasm, which makes Garfield and him friends, despite his reluctance to admit it.

What would Garfield do if he realized how much money he had made?

According to Jim, Garfield would be pompous and showy if he realized all the money he made. He would have a Gucci scratching pole, an Italian-trained full-time cook, refrigerators in each room, and a bodyguard to beat up neighborhood dogs. Knowing Garfield’s love of irony, he probably would get a job to get out of it.

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