How Much Was Michael Nesmith Worth At The Time Of His Death?

Michael Nesmith, a member of The Monkees, died on December 10 at 78 years old, and his music was not the only thing his legacy left behind. The musician's death was announced by the group's manager, Andrew Sandoval, on Twitter. "It is with deep sadness that I mark the passing of Michael Nesmith," Sandoval wrote. The Monkees burst onto the scene in 1966 with their hit NBC self-titled series. Their first two albums "The Monkees" and "More of the Monkees" both soared to the top of the charts, per Variety.

Although ghost writers were often used, Nesmith was behind several of the group's songs, including "Mary, Mary" and "You Just May be the One." As sales slowed down, and The Monkees became disenchanted with their record executives, the group disbanded in 1970. Decades later, when Nesmith and Micky Dolenz were The Monkees' only surviving members, the duo embarked on a farewell tour that wrapped in November 2021. "The music just lifts me up. It's what makes life worth living these days, playing live music," Nesmith told Rebeat while promoting the tour.

Even though Nesmith was a once-famous musician, he lived a low-key life. "I never knew I was serving groceries to a multi-millionaire Monkee and I'm a big fan," a woman who worked at a grocery store in his neighborhood told Mirror in 2011. Nesmith was best-known for his musical accomplishments, but that only contributed to a fraction of his net worth.

Michael Nesmith's mother invented this popular substance

Although Michael Nesmith became a world-famous musician, his mother, Bette Nesmith, arguably had the more intriguing life story. Bette was a single, divorced mother who struggled to make ends meet while working as a secretary at a bank, per CNBC. She often made typing mistakes, and feared for her job. This resulted in Bette creating a liquid that could conceal mistakes on paper, which she called Mistake Out. The single mother sold the substance to other secretaries and wholesalers while maintaining her day job. At one point, Bette paid her son and his friends $1 an hour to help manufacture Mistake Out.

Eventually, Bette renamed the substance Liquid Paper, and in 1975, she owned a company that produced 25 million bottles annually, per CNBC. By 1979, Nesmith's mother sold Liquid Paper to Gillette Corporation for $47.5 million. A year later she died of a stroke and left her son $25 million.

The Monkees musician created the Pacific Arts Corporation media company in 1974, per Mirror. In 1999, Nesmith and Pacific Arts won a massive lawsuit against PBS. The network had sued his company for using their logo, but in a surprise turn, the jury awarded Nesmith and his company $47 million, per the Los Angeles Times. Jurors found that PBS had illegally stolen programs his company owned. Thanks to his inheritance and various business ventures, Nesmith was worth $50 million at the time of his death, per Celebrity Net Worth