Jay Leno is a well-known face from our TV screens, and he has been entertaining us for years with his humor and his interesting guests in The Tonight Show.

However he is more than just a TV host, and his estimated net worth is around 350$ million.

Early life

James Douglas Muir Leno was born on April 28, 1950 in New Rochelle, New York. His mother Catherine was a homemaker and his father Angelo was an insurance salesman. Jay has Italian and Scottish roots.

He spent his childhood in Andover Massachusetts where he finished high school and got a bachelor’s degree in speech therapy on Emerson College. His brother, Partick, was a war veteran and unlike Jay spent his life working as an attorney. In Andover, Leno started his comedy club during eighties.

TV career

Jay’s first appearance on TV was on The Tonight Show in March 1977 where he performed one of his comedy routines. He also appeared in series “Good Times”, “Fun with Dick and Jane”, “American Hot Wax” and many others. These roles were small but he has kept waiting for his 15 minutes of fame and he has surely succeeded in that.

Leno’s opportunity came during the nineties, when he was replacing Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show regularly. In 1992 Jay Leno replaced Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show despite everybody’s expectations that David Letterman would fill in this role. Feud between Letterman and Leno were later turned into a book and a movie.

Jay Leno signed a contract with NBC to host The Tonight Show until 2009. In 2007 Leno was caught into controversy about his monologue he had written for The Tonight Show without guidelines. Leno managed to avoid accusations and wasn’t presented in the WGAW strike-breakers list.

Since 2001 Jay Leno has been voicing the character in Nickelodeon animated series “The fairly odd parents”. Most of his income comes from savings that he made during airing of The Tonight Show and his stand-up comedy acts.

Leno left The Tonight Show in 2009 and the show was replaced by Conan O’Brian’s show. Leno then signed a new contract with the NBC for a show called The Jay Leno Show. The show had mostly the same content and it featured famous guests and offered occasional musical performances.

In 2010 both O’Brian’s and Leno’s show presented poor ratings and the NBC network decided to move the schedule of the shows, so that The Tonight Show airs 5 minutes after midnight. Since Conan O’Brian considered this to be not acceptable and hurtful for the show’s history of airing, the network offered him to leave the show or to accept the offer.

In 2010 Conan O’Brian announced that he will be leaving the show and Jay Leno will take his place. After this change, The Tonight Show’s ratings dropped but it still remained one of the most watched TV shows. On April 3, 2013 Jay Leno announced Jimmy Fallon as his successor.

After The Tonight Show, Jay Leno continued appearing on TV as a guest for various TV show hosts. However he never accepted to appear on Late Show with David Letterman. Jay also hosted Jay Leno’s Garage special on CNBC that was supposed to become a primetime series on cable network from 2015.

Charity work

In 2001 Leno donated 100,000$ to the Feminist Majority Foundation for women who are under Taliban rule. In 2009 he donated 100,000$ to Salem State College to honor his friend, Lennie Sogoloff, who has helped his start his comedy career in his jazz club.

In 2012 Leno auctioned his Fiat 500, and sold it for almost 400,000$. All of the money was donated to a charity that helps wounded veterans to recover after the war and that provides them temporary housing.

Personal life

Jay Leno was often criticized by many for his behavior. He was not only accused of breaking his agreement during hosting of The Tonight Show but he was also involved in the Michael Jackson trial. He appeared as Jackson’s witness and stated his innocence. For this he was criticized by many celebrities who didn’t want to have anything to do with this trial.

Leno was married to Mavis Leno since 1980 and they have no children. His mother and father died in the same year and few years after his brother Patrick died due to cancer complications.

Leno is mostly known for his specific appearance. He has a very prominent jaw and during his lifetime he decided not to have surgery. He is also dyslexic and he claims that he doesn’t sleep too much. He doesn’t gamble, smoke or drink.

Quick summary:

Full Name: James Douglas Muir Leno

Date of Birth: April 28, 1950

Birth Place: New Rochelle, New York

Age: 66 years

Profession: TV host, stand-up comedian, actor

Height: 1.80 m

Weight: 90 kg

Net worth: 350$ million