Top-earning dead celebrities

In one of it’s more obscure lists, Forbes recently released its list of top-earning dead celebrities. At the top of the list (and the reason it was newsworthy) was Kurt Cobain, who recently overtook Elvis as the top dead earner ($50 million in the last year alone).

But of all of the celebrities on the list, 2 stood out and 1 surprised me.

Those that stood out to me (and I was pleased in both cases) were Charles M. Schulz who, at #3, earned a cool $35 million last year. I’ve always enjoyed the Peanuts cartoon. I take it as a sign of popularity that it is still selling. (Of course, a lot of the money comes from licensing rights, but that still indicates a level of popularity.)

Also on the list was author Theodore Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss. At #7 on the list, Dr. Seuss earned $10 million in the last year. I grew up with Dr. Seuss books. I learned how to read from Dr. Seuss books. I’m glad to see that they are still popular too.

Most surprising on the list, at least to me, was #5, Albert Einstein. That’s right, the guy who came up with E = mc2 earned $20 million in the last year, most of which came from rights to his name and likeness. He is still probably the most recognized scientist in the world, and he hasn’t been around for 52 years.

It was an interesting list, and I am happy for these three dead people. On the flip side, it is somewhat depressing to think that there are dead people out there making two orders of magnitude more money than someone like me, who is still alive and kicking, and working (relatively) hard. Sometimes.