What Was Bernie Mac's Net Worth at the Time of His Death?

Bernie Mac was truly like no other.

Known for his raw, in-your-face style, distinctive voice, and cool delivery, he rose up the ranks to become one of the world’s most beloved comedians. Sadly, Mac’s life was cut short in 2008 when he was just 50. But his legacy lives on through an illustrious body of work that includes performances, movies, and an eponymous television show.

Here’s a look back at the famed comedian’s life and career, from how he got his start to his net worth at the time of his death.

Bernie Mac’s early life

Mac was born as Bernard Jeffrey McCullough on October 5, 1957.

Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Mac took interest in comedy at an early age when he saw his mother, who was sad one afternoon, brighten up after seeing a comedian on television, per The New York Times. By the age of 8, Mac had done his first standup performance, doing a bit about his grandparents in front of members of his church (via Biography).

Mac told The Times that he started telling jokes in his later teenage years in the Chicago subway while working side-jobs. He got his big break in 1990 when he won a comedy contest held by Miller Lite, parlaying the attention he received into a spot on Russell Simmons’ iconic comedy series Def Comedy Jam.

Bernie Mac’s rise to fame

Mac’s career moved slow but steadily following his appearances on Def Comedy Jam. By 1992, he had scored his first major movie role, appearing as a club doorman in the comedy Mo’ Money. But it wasn’t until his part as Pastor Cleaver in 1995’s Friday that he really started to make a name for himself.

The role served as a springboard for Mac’s career, leading to a string of movie and television gigs, including parts in Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood (1996) and B.A.P.S. (1997).

The Original Kings of Comedy (2000) boosted his star even more. Mac appeared in the program alongside renowned funnymen Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, and Cedric the Entertainer, making jokes that inspired his hit television show, The Bernie Mac Show.

From there, the comedian continued to grow his resume, nabbing spots in productions such as 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven, 2003’s Head of State with Chris Rock, and 2003’s Bad Santa. In total, Mac enjoyed over a decade of success before his death in 2008.

Bernie Mac’s death and net worth

Mac died on Aug. 9, 2008, of complications from pneumonia. His sister-in-law cited an inflammatory disease Mac had been diagnosed with in the ’80s as a factor in his death.

“He had sarcoidosis, but it was in remission,” she told People. “But because he had it, his immune system was compromised. He had an infection … He was on a new medication that suppresses the immune system, and that’s where the pneumonia came from.”

She said Mac had gone to the hospital days earlier on July 24 after experiencing a fever and breathing issues and that his condition continued to worsen in the following days. Once he passed, over 6,000 people came to honor him at his funeral, per BET.

Celebrity Net Worth reports that Mac had a net worth of $15 million at the time of his death.

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