Last Updated on March 10, 2023
Richard Anthony Wolf, known professionally as Dick Wolf, is an American television producer & director, television program creator, film producer, screenwriter, and author.
Dick Wolf is best known for being the creator and executive producer of the ‘Law & Order’ television franchise. The franchise has spawned 6 police/courtroom dramas and 4 international spinoffs since 1990.
In addition to Law & Order, Wolf is also credited for serving as the creator and executive producer of the ‘Chicago’ and ‘FBI’ franchises.
Outside the television industry, Dick Wolf has also enjoyed moderate success as a filmmaker and author.
Dick Wolf Quick Facts
|Full Name:||Richard Anthony Wolf|
|Popular Name:||Dick Wolf|
|Birth Date:||December 20, 1946|
|Parents:||George Wolf and Marie Wolf|
|Birth Place:||New York City, New York, United States|
|Ethnicity:||Mixed (Jewish and Irish)|
|Education:||Saint David’s School, The Gunnery (The Frederick Gunn School), Phillips Academy, and the University of Pennsylvania|
|Marital Status:||Divorced; previously married to Susan Scranton (from 1970 until their divorce in 1983), Christine Marburg (from 1983 until their divorce in 2005), and Noelle Lippman (from 2006 until their divorce in 2019)|
|Children:||5, including Olivia Wolf, Elliot Wolf, Rex Wolf, and Serena Wolf|
|Net Worth:||USD 600 million|
|Source of Wealth:||elevision Producing, Television Directing, Television Program Creating, Film Producing, Screenwriting, Book-writing, and Other Ventures|
|Height:||6′ 4″ (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||In kilograms: 69 kg; In pounds: 152 lbs.|
Early Life and Career Information
Richard Anthony Wolf was born on December 20, 1946, in New York City, New York, United States, to George Wolf and Marie Wolf.
Dick Wolf attended a number of schools before graduating from high school. They include Saint David’s School, The Frederick Gunn School, and Phillips Academy.
After high school, Wolf proceeded to the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1969.
Television and Film Career
After graduating from the university, Dick Wolf worked at Benton & Bowles as an advertising copywriter. He also worked for National Airlines around the same period.
In 1978, Wolf made his film debut in the movie ‘Skateboard.’ He then served as a television program writer for the series ‘Hill Street Blues’ from 1985 – 1986.
From 1986 to 1988, Dick Wolf served as the co-executive and writer of the television series ‘Miami Vice.’ In 1987, Wolf had a role in the movie ‘No Man’s Land.’ He subsequently wrote the screenplay for the film ‘Masquerade’ the following year.
Wolf involved himself in many other television shows for the rest of the 80s and the early 90s. Notable ones include Gideon Oliver (1989), Christie Cromwell (1989), Nasty Boys (1990), and H.E.L.P. (1990).
Dick Wolf’s breakout television role came in 1990 when he became the creator, executive producer, and writer of Law & Order. He has maintained his role in the show, as well as its spinoffs, since then.
Besides the original Law & Order, Wolf has involved himself in tons of other movies and television ventures in various capacities. They include the following;
• School Ties (1992)
• Twin Towers (2003)
• Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007)
• Naked Singularity (2021)
• Mann & Machine (1992)
• The Human Factor (1992)
• South Beach (1993)
• Crime & Punishment (1993)
• New York Undercover (1994 – 1998)
• The Wright Verdicts (1995)
• Swift Justice (1996)
• Feds (1997)
• Players (1997 – 1998)
• Exiled: A Law & Order Movie (1998)
• Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999 – present)
• D.C (2000)
• Deadline (2000 – 2001)
• Arrest & Trial (2000)
• Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001 – 2011)
• Dragnet (2003)
• Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005 – 2006)
• Law & Order: UK (2009 – 2014)
• Law & Order: LA (2010 – 2011)
• Chicago Fire (2012 – present)
• Chicago P.D (2014 – present)
• Chicago Med (2015 – present)
• Chicago Justice (2017)
• Law & Order: True Crime (2017)
• FBI (2018 – present)
• FBI Most Wanted (2020 – present)
• Law & Order: Organized Crime (2021 – present)
Dick Wolf has authored four books. His first book, titled ‘Law & Order: Crime Scenes,’ is a non-fiction that chronicles most of the events taking place in the Law & Order series.
Wolf’s other three books include ‘The Intercept,’ ‘The Execution,’ and ‘The Ultimatum.’
Dick Wolf’s Net Worth
As at August 1, 2022, Dick Wolf had a net worth of $600 million. Wolf achieved tremendous fame courtesy of his role in the Law & Order series. So, it’s not surprising that the franchise is also his greatest income earner to date.
The Law & Order franchise propelled Dick Wolf to the list of the world’s richest television producers of all time. And if Wolf’s recent earnings are anything to go by, the acclaimed producer may continue to swim in millions for several years to come.
According to a 2019 legal filing submitted as part of his divorce proceedings with his ex-wife Noelle Lippman, it emerged that Wolf was earning $10 to $15 million monthly from his vast television empire. That works out to $120 to $180 million annually or $328,000 to $490,000 daily, before tax.
But while Dick Wolf enjoys a comfortable net worth of $600 million, it’s important to note that his wealth could have been considerably higher if it weren’t for his expensive divorce settlements.
Wolf lost $4 million to his second wife, Christine Marburg, in 2005. This entire amount was based on the value of Law & Order, which was created during the couple’s marriage. Interestingly, financial advisors estimated the Law & Order value at a paltry $8 million then. The spouses were each entitled to half of the franchise’s value.
Dick Wolf’s third wife, Noelle Lippman, received $17.5 million in cash plus an additional $2 million annually for the next eight years.
Collectively, Wolf would eventually lose $41.5 million in divorce settlements.
Lessons from Dick Wolf
1. Know what you want and go for it
Dick Wolf’s first job was as an advertising copywriter. But having already set his eyes on television producing, it wasn’t long before Wolf left his job to pursue his true ambitions.
2. Love what you do
Wolf hasn’t changed careers since the 70s. That only speaks to his passion for his television producer cum program creator job.
3. There’s no room for complacency
Dick Wolf believes that you can only achieve meaningful success when you continually strive to excel yourself. He once said, ‘As soon as you become complacent your show gets canceled.’
Famous Quotes by Dick Wolf
• I do love television. But the business is accelerating and people are not getting the chance to fail.
• It’s show business. No show, no business.
• I was raised not to be rude, but I also try to get the best work out of people.
• The reason television is free is because it is a life support system for commercials. That fundamental aspect is about to change.
• There are professional negotiators working for the writers and the actors, but basically you’ve got the writers and actors negotiating against businessmen. That’s why you get rhetoric.
Dick Wolf is an acclaimed television producer, director, and program creator who has been around since the 70s. Wolf is credited with numerous award-winning shows, including the Law & Order, Chicago, and the FBI franchises.
Expectedly, Dick’s successful television projects have earned him millions of dollars. He has a net worth of $600 million as at August 1, 2022.