Stephen A. Smith Net Worth: How Did He Become the Highest-Paid TV Personality?

Stephen A. Smith is a household name in the world of sports journalism, but when a group of Little League parents sued him, it wasn’t his most excellent hour. Smith is famous for hosting ESPN’s First Take. He used to debate Max Kellerman on a debate-style talk show.

Not everything Stephen A. Smith said about sports was brilliant, but his delivery style was what captivated his audience. Read below to find out the net worth of Stephen A. Smith.

What is the Net Worth of Stephen A. Smith in 2022?

U.S. sports media celebrity Stephen A. Smith has a net worth of $16 million. Most of Stephen A. Smith’s fame comes from his guest spots on several ESPN shows. He also has a writing career, with bylines in The Philadelphia Inquirer and on ESPN’s online properties. Stephen A. Smith has also found success in the realm of talk radio. Also, Smith has appeared in several films, usually in a cameo role in which he plays himself.

Until April this year, Stephen A. Smith earned $5 million in pay. When he renewed his contract with ESPN in mid-April 2019, he became the network’s highest-paid personality with an annual salary of $8 million. Until March 2020, when Tony Romo got a hefty $17 million per year CBS agreement, he held the title of highest-paid sportscaster in the world thanks to that arrangement.

Stephen A. Smith Net Worth

Stephen A. Smith Biography

American journalist and broadcaster Stephen A. Smith is most recognized for his role as a pundit on ESPN’s “First Take.” He was born in the Bronx but spent his childhood in Hollis. He attended Thomas Edison High School and graduated. After high school, he attended the Fashion Institute of Technology for a year before transferring to Winston-Salem State University. In college, he started working as a sports writer for the school newspaper, The News Argust.

The New York Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer were among the publications he eventually worked on as a sports correspondent. He started working in radio and television in the middle of the 2000s. He had a sporadic history with ESPN until landing a permanent gig as a pundit on the show “First Take.” Now, he has his radio show called “The Stephen A. Smith Show” and has written for The Philadelphia Inquirer. His outspoken commentary style has gotten him into numerous disputes over the years.

The Early Life of Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith was born in the Bronx to a father who owned a hardware store. Stephen’s dad was a famous ballplayer and baseball star before opening a hardware business. He was the second youngest of six children born to his parents in 1967. Smith’s early enthusiasm for the game led to a basketball scholarship that allowed him to attend Winston-Salem State University. He spent a year at the Fashion Institute of Technology before transferring to WSSU.

At the university level, he played basketball for the legendary Clarence Gaines. It’s safe to assume that Stephen A. Smith picked up a wealth of wisdom and strategy for the basketball court during his time there. Smith was unafraid to publicly criticize his mentor despite the latter’s widespread acclaim. Before graduating, Smith advocated in the university newspaper that Gaines should retire due to declining health. In 1991, Stephen A. Smith completed his undergraduate degree.

Stephen A. Smith: Career

Early Journalism Career

After graduating from college, Stephen A. Smith’s first big journalism job was as a sports department clerk for the Winston-Salem Journal. Gaining entry-level experience in this role will pave the door to further achievements. The Greensborough News & Record and the New York Daily News offered him increased responsibility shortly after. But his big break came when he got a job at The Philadelphia Inquirer.


ESPN hired Stephen A. Smith in 2003, and his first job was as a commentator on the pregame show NBA Shootaround (later renamed NBA Countdown). Just two years later, in 2005, he was the host of his presentation, Quite Frankly With Stephen A. Smith, which lasted until 2007. As a result, he now has his daily talk show, The Stephen A. Smith Show. Sports fans will more likely recognize him from his 2012 debut on ESPN’s First Take. In addition to Sportscenter, Stephen A.

Smith has made guest appearances on other ESPN programs, such as Dream Job, Pardon the Interruption, and Jim Rome Is Burning. The contract Smith signed in 2014 guaranteed him an annual salary of $3 million. Stephen A. Smith made $5 million at ESPN between April 2015 and April 2019. Until 2021, ESPN will reportedly pay Smith $8 to $10 million a year. This contract was announced in April 2019. These figures establish Smith as one of ESPN’s highest-paid on-air personalities.

Acting Career

After making his acting debut on General Hospital, Stephen A. Smith performed in various other television and film productions. Smith has featured in multiple appearances since he is a massive fan of the series. Smith had a role in I Think I Love My Wife, a film written and directed by Chris Rock and released in 2007. There are some commercials for Oberto beef jerky in which the TV star appears.

Radio Career

Talk radio played a significant role in Stephen A. Smith’s career. Back in 2005, he got his start at New York’s WEPN radio station. The remainder of the show was eventually aired on ESPN Radio. Fox Sports Radio welcomed Smith’s contributions in 2009, and he ultimately became the morning show’s host. Smith left ESPN Radio in 2013 to become a host on Chris Russo’s Sirius/XM channel, Mad Dog Sports. After leaving Sirius/XM in 2017, Smith returned to ESPN with his talk show. His annual salary from his Sirius/XM radio show was $1 million from 2015 to 2019.

Personal Life of Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith has never tied the knot despite being 50 years old. Not much is known about his two daughters, who separated by only a year. Notoriously private, Smith has said nothing publicly about his romantic history.

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