In the 70s and 80s, John DeLorean became a household name due to his revolutionary work within the automobile industry. However, his life was far from simple, and he had his fair share of professional obstacles to overcome. Not everything went according to plan, but that did not stop John from gaining the public’s attention. Given how detailed his career has been covered in Netflix’s ‘Myth & Mogul: John DeLorean,’ many people are eager to know just how much wealth the automobile executive had at the time of his passing. So, let’s explore it all together, shall we?
How Did John DeLorean Earn His Money?
Having grown up in Detroit, Michigan, John started his education as a public school student before enrolling at Cass Technical High School. The institute in question specializes in providing education to academically excellent students. This allowed John to learn more about electrical sciences. Thanks to his stellar performance, he earned a scholarship to the Lawrence Institute of Technology, where he studied industrial engineering.
Due to the start of World War II, John’s studies were halted for three years as he was drafted to be a part of the military. After his return home, he worked for a year and a half to help his family before resuming his studies and earning his Bachelor of Science degree in 1948. For his post-graduation job, John started selling life insurance. Though he excelled there, he soon left the sales life behind and joined the Chrysler Institute of Engineering, which allowed him to gain his Master’s Degree in Automotive Engineering in 1952 and join Chrysler’s engineering team.
Within a year since he became a part of Chrysler’s engineering team, John switched to Packard Motor Company in 1953. While he quickly rose through the ranks and caught the eye of influential figures within the company, the organization struggled to stay afloat. 1956 saw John switching over to General Motors and joining its Pontiac division. Initially an assistant to Chief Engineer and General Manager, he helped boost the company’s sales with his vision and skills. Consequently, he became the Head of the Pontiac division in 1965 when he was just 40.
On February 15, 1969, John was given another promotion. This time he was made the Head of General Motor’s Chevrolet division. However, his role as an Automobile Executive started to weigh heavy on the man. In 1973, he decided to leave General Motors and established his company, DeLorean Motor Company(DMC). As a man chasing his dream, John came across several obstacles. The location of his factory in Northern Ireland’s Belfast during the Troubles created several unforeseeable hurdles along with apparent mismanagement of funds.
Given John’s successful career in the automobile industry, he published a book of his own in 1979 called ‘On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors,’ which sold about 1.6 million copies. Yet, his troubles soon took legal form after being arrested on October 19, 1982, and charged with trafficking drugs. Though he was declared innocent in August 1984, the hit he and his company took from the scandal had a long-lasting impact. During the last years of his life, John started to design and sell watches under the brand name DeLorean Time to gather funds and restart his automobile career.
John DeLorean’s Net Worth
When John DeLorean joined the Chevrolet division, he earned about $600,000 annually. When adjusted for inflation, the amount would be about $5 million in 2023. It should be noted that John’s company DMC had not been doing well before his 1982 arrest and was apparently about $175 million in debt in February of the same year.
The businessman did have a variety of sources of income throughout his life. Nevertheless, in the years leading up to his death, his primary source of income seems to have been his watch business, and an average businessman in New York would earn about $200,000 in 2005. Considering these factors, we estimate John DeLorean’s net worth at the time of his death to be about $2 million.