The Hollywood executive is the seventh Black American billionaire, joining the ranks of tech investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith, NBA legend Michael Jordan, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, tech founder David Stewart, along with hip-hop heavyweights Jay-Z and Kanye West.
The 51-year-old entertainment mogul has a robust catalog of content that includes more than 1,200 episodes of television, 22 feature films, and at least two dozen stage plays. Add to that an innovative new 330-acre studio lot that was built on the grounds of a former Confederate military stronghold in Atlanta.
He negotiated a deal with ViacomCBS that pays him $150 million a year to produce new content for BET and an equity stake in the new BET streaming service, BET+, which premiered last September.
Forbes estimates that Perry has earned more than $1.4 billion in pretax income since 2005, in which he was able to purchase homes in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He also owns two private planes. The magazine estimates that his net worth is $1 billion.
Tyler Perry by the numbers:
Perry is looking to replicate the success that Disney and Universal have done on their perspective lots. He plans to build restaurants, shops, and an entertainment complex with a theater and a theme park-like experience. This is in addition to his plans to include housing for trafficked women and LGBTQ youth and an academy to teach kids the benefits of financial literacy.
“I can go outside and take this dirt and put it on my hands and know that there were Confederate soldiers here walking this land, plotting and planning everything they could to keep us Negroes in place,” Perry told Forbes about the land on which his studio was built. “The very fact that I am here on this land, the very fact that hundreds of people—Black and brown people—come here to make a living, that is effecting change.”