- Richest Celebrities › Rock Stars
- Net Worth:
- $5 Million
- Date of Birth:
- Jan 10, 1943 – Sep 20, 1973 (30 years old)
- Place of Birth:
- South Philadelphia
- 5 ft 8 in (1.75 m)
- Singer, Singer-songwriter, Actor, Musician
- United States of America
💰 Compare Jim Croce’s Net Worth
- Early Life
- Personal Life and Death
What was Jim Croce’s net worth?
Jim Croce was an American folk and rock singer and songwriter who had a net worth of $700,000 at the time of his death in 1973. That’s the same as around $5 million today after adjusting for inflation. During his career, Jim sold 4 million albums. Not long after his death, Jim’s widow Ingrid Croce-Rock sold all rights to his songs to Lefrak-Moelis Records for a reported $6 million, roughly $15 million after adjusting for inflation. Throughout the 90s, Lefrak-Moelis earned $3-4 million ever year off the songs.
His debut studio album, Facets, was released in 1966. He released the album “Jim & Ingrid” Croce in 1969. Jim Croce released the album “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim” in 1972. It reached #1 in both the US and Canada.
His album “Life and Times” was released in 1973. It reached #1 in Canada and #7 in the US. His final album, “I Got a Name,” was released in 1973. It reached #2 in both the US and Canada. All three of his last albums were certified Gold in the US. Croce’s singles “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “Time in a Bottle” both reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the second song also reached #1 in Canada.
Tragically, Jim Croce passed away on September 20, 1973 at 30 years old in a plane crash.
Jim Croce was born on January 10, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to parents James Albert Croce and Flora Mary Croce, both of whom were Italian Americans whose parents had immigrated from Abruzzo and Sicily. Croce grew up in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania right outside of Philadelphia and attended Upper Darby High School. He graduated in 1960 and then attended Malvern Preparatory School for a year before enrolling at Villanova University. There, he majored in psychology and had a minor in German. He was also a member of the Villanova Singers and the Villanova Spires. He received his Bachelor of Science in Social Studies in 1965.
Croce began his musical career while at Villanova. The band he was in, the Villanova Singers, were selected for a foreign exchange tour of Africa, the Middle East, and Yugoslavia. Croce released his first album, “Facets,” in 1966. Five hundred copies were pressed. The album had been financed with a $500 wedding gift from Croce’s parents after Croce married his wife. His parents had conditioned the gift on the money being used for making an album. They had hoped that the album would fail, forcing their son to give up his dream of being a professional musician and pursue a reputable profession. However, the album proved to be a success and every album sold.
Beginning in the mid-1960s, Croce performed with his wife Ingrid as a duo. Initially, they performed songs by other artists like Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot, Joan Baez, and Arlo Guthrie. They eventually began to write their own music. During this time, Croce also booked his first long-term gig performing at a suburban bar and steakhouse in Lima, Pennsylvania called The Riddle Paddock. In 1968, Croce was encouraged by record producer Tommy West to move to New York City. Croce and his wife did so and recorded their first album, “Jim & Ingrid Croce.” They then drove more than 300,000 miles playing small clubs and concerts to promote the album.
After becoming disillusioned with the music industry in New York, the couple sold all but one guitar to pay rent and returned to the Pennsylvania countryside. They settled on an old farm in Lyndell and Croce played local shows for $25 a night. This was not enough money to support the family so he also took odd jobs driving trucks, doing construction work, and teaching guitar. During this period of time, his varied experiences would serve as inspiration for some of his later popular songs like “Big Wheel” and “Workin’ at the Car Wash Blues.”
In 1970, Croce met classically trained pianist-guitarist and singer-songwriter Maury Muehleisen from Trenton, New Jersey through producer Joe Salviuolo, whom Croce had known since college. The two began collaborating together musically. In 1971, Croce sent a cassette of his new songs to a friend and producer in New York City in the hope that he could get a record deal. The following year, he landed a three-record contract with ABC Records. He released the album “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim” and later the album “Life and Times.” Singles from the albums received airtime and the family then moved to San Diego. Croce made his national debut on “American Bandstand” and later appeared on “The Tonight Show” and “The Dick Cavett Show.”
Croce then embarked on a tour of the United States with Muehleisen. They later toured Europe, performing in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Monte Carlo, Zurich, and Dublin. In July of 1973, his biggest single, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” reached number one on the American charts. By then, he was in the midst of recording a new album, “I Got a Name.” He finished recording the album only a week before his death.
Personal Life and Death
Croce met his future wife, Ingrid, when he was 20 years old when he was judging a contest at the Philadelphia Convention Hall. She also was a singer and songwriter. Together, they had a son together in September of 1971 named Adrian. He went on to become a musician as well.
Croce tragically died in a plane crash eight days before his son’s second birthday. In a letter he had written to his wife which arrived after his death, he had talked about his decision to quit music in order to spend more time with family. The crash occurred on September 20, 1973. Croce and five others were killed when their chartered plane crashed into a tree during takeoff from an airport in Louisiana. Croce was only 30 years old at the time. An investigation named the probable cause of the crash the pilot’s failure to see the tree that they ultimately crashed into.
Following his death, the album “I Got a Name” was released on December 1, 1973. A greatest hits album was released in 1974 called “Photographs & Memories.” A number of other posthumous releases followed. In 1985, his wife Ingrid opened Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar, a project she and Croce had jokingly discussed over a decade earlier, in the historic Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego. She owned and managed it until it closed in 2013. In 2022, a Pennsylvania Historical Marker honoring Croce was installed outside his farmhouse in Lyndell.