Larry Elder is a U.S. 2024 presidential candidate and a California media icon. The 71-year-old is a man of many parts– an entrepreneur, a media personality, and a politician.
His career shifts have not always been successful but he has managed to amass millions of dollars of opportunities over time. To run for the president of the United States, Elder gave up his nationally syndicated column, his radio show, and his TV show.
For him, the move is a sign of his commitment to the American state. And it has found expression in his campaign message. He likens his campaign message to a personal sacrifice.
“I’m not flush like some of the other candidates, so this is a big financial hit for me,” he told Forbes. “I gave up my nationally syndicated column, gave up my radio show. I gave up my TV show.”
Forbes estimates that Elder is worth $4 million. And he made his money from entrepreneurship, his radio and TV gigs, political organizations that he formed, and political consultancy.
Elder, the son of a janitor, grew up the second of three brothers in L.A.’s South Central neighborhood. After high school, he went to Brown University, where he studied political science. He continued to the University of Michigan to study law.
After university, his first job was at the prominent Cleveland firm Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (now known as Squire Patton Boggs). After a few years, he launched his own headhunting business, Laurence A. Elder and Associates. This was because he was not satisfied with the pace of his advancement.
According to Forbes, by 1988, he made enough money to buy two homes– a $167,000 condo in Cleveland and a $550,000 house in Hollywood Hills. He developed an interest in political and cultural commentary, with guest appearances on radio and a stint hosting a PBS show.
In 1993, while a show host on the Los Angeles radio station KABC, he shot into notoriety for his fiery take on race, including a firm position against affirmative action. He was suspended and later reinstated following pressure from a conservative group.
As his popularity catapulted, so was his taste for luxury. He offloaded his existing properties and splurged on an upgrade. Elder reportedly paid $1.65 million for his current home and financed the entire purchase price. He engaged in other luxurious purchases and even caught the attention of the IRS.
He formally entered into politics in 2021 after years of flirting with the idea. His first move was to throw his name into the race in California’s 2021 recall election against Governor Gavin Newsom. He won the most votes, but he fell short of the required numbers to remove the governor.
Now, he gets paid $150,000 for a federal political action committee he created. He also helped to open a “cancel-proof” bank named Old Glory, listing the value of his stake at over $1 million. Elder further lists on a financial disclosure form a $15,000 to $50,000 worth of stock in a liver disease and cancer research company and has a SAG-AFTRA pension from his radio work. He also lists a $100,000 to $250,000 stake in the Black News Channel (currently TheGrio) besides inheriting a 50% stake in his parents’ home, Forbes reported.