American author, astrophysicist, science communicator, and planetary scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson has a net worth of $5 million.
Neil deGrasse Tyson fell in love with astronomy at the tender age of 9. Since then, he’s made great strides in the field and has had numerous accomplishments. Not to mention, he’s an alumnus of some of the most prestigious schools.
Tyson has had the chance to learn in schools like Columbia, Harvard, and Princeton. There he honed his skills and today continues to be a distinguished and accomplished astrophysicist. Perhaps his most notable work is making it clear to the masses that Pluto isn’t a planet.
Tyson’s Early Childhood
Tyson was born in Manhattan on 5th October 1958 and had two other siblings. His father (Cyril deGrasse Tyson) was a sociologist. He worked as a human resource commissioner for the Mayor of New York.
On the other hand, his mother (Sunchita Maria Tyson) worked as a gerontologist working for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. His two siblings are Lynn Antipas Tyson and Stephen Joseph Tyson.
At the age of 9, Neil began frequenting the Hayden Planetarium, where he fell in love with astronomy. He and his siblings attended Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy, a public school, and the Bronx High School of Science.
While attending the Bronx High School of Science, Neil participated in various activities with his future. He was the editor-in-chief of the school’s Physical Science Journal. Neil also took part in sports and was the captain of the wrestling team at the same school.
His passion for astronomy grew as a teenager, and he began giving lectures on astronomy at 15. His talent was evident, and he got to attend Harvard after graduating high school. Carl Sagan, a famed astronomer, saw Neil’s talent and tried to attend Cornel University.
But, Neil had made up his mind about attending Harvard University. In 1980, he graduated from the school with a degree in Astronomy and pursued a Master’s Degree. Neil attended the University of Texas and completed the course in 1983.
His career as a lecture took off, and he began his work at the University of Maryland from 1986 to 1987. In 1989 he graduated from the University of Columbia with his MPhil degree. His Ph.D. followed this in astrophysics in 1991.
In 1994, Hayden went back to where his love for astronomy originated. He got a job at the Hayden Planetarium as a staff scientist. His dedication to the progress of the planetarium saw his rise to the role of Director in 1996.
In addition, Neil began to write more about the field in a monthly column for the Natural History Magazine. The column was the ‘Universe,’ and he also published some scientific journals. Later, he’d join the team of President George W. Bush in 2001 to serve on the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry.
Neil would go on in 2004 to serve on the Commission on Implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy. It was for the same presidency and became the ‘Moon, Mars and Beyond’ Commission. The roles earned Neil the NASA Distinguished Public Service medal, which was quite an honor.
At the same time, Tyson began his work as a host for the PBS Nova Series’ Origins’. He worked with Donald Goldsmith on this project, plus narrating the ‘400 Years of Telescope’ documentary. The documentary premiered on PBS in 2009.
One of Neil’s most notable works is spreading the word that Pluto isn’t a planet. He was backing traditional thinking on this matter, and at the time, Pluto was the 9th planet. It led to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) changing Pluto’s status to the dwarf planet classification in 2006.
Over the years, Neil also held the roles of vice-president, president, and chairman of the Planetary Society. He also became a regular at ‘The Universe,’ which was on the History Channel in 2007. His passion for astronomy and educating people on the topic continued to shine. In 2009, he launched ‘Star Talk,’ a 1-hour radio show he co-hosted with comedian Lynne Koplitz.
The show began as a pop figure as he was a regular in talk and radio shows. Neil had appeared in numerous movies, series, and animation voice-overs over the years. The most notable are:
- Stargate Atlantis 2008
- The Big Bang Theory 2010, 2018
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine 2015
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 2016
- The Jim Gaffigan Show 2016
- Ice Age Collision Course 2016
- Family Guy 2016
- BoJack Horseman 2016
- Lazer Team 2016
- Zoolander 2 2016
- The Simpsons 2017
- The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time 2018
Based on his impressive career, Neil had received numerous awards, honors, and honorary doctorates. In 1989, he published his first book ‘Merlin’s Tour of the Universe. His next one was in 1994 ‘Universe Down to Earth’ followed by ‘Just Visiting This Planet’ in 1998.
Other written accomplishments include ‘One Universe: At Home with the Cosmos in 2000. Next came ‘The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist in 2004. In 2017 he published Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and Letter from an Astrophysicist in 2019.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry did well, selling over 1 million copies. The book managed to stay for one year on the New York Best Seller List. Neil is currently worth $5 million. In 2007, he was part of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People and the Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive in People Magazine in 2000.
Neil’s Personal Life
In 1988, Neil married Alice Young. They met in a physics class, fell in love, and decided to tie the knot. From the union came two children Tyson and Miranda. Miranda borrows her name from the smallest of the 5 moons of Uranus. Tyson is a wine connoisseur with an impressive collection featured on the Wine Spectator in May 2000.
In 2018, Tyson faced allegations of sexual misconduct from 4 women who came forward. The accusations were of inappropriate touching, sexual advances, and comments. There was a rape allegation which Tyson denied. He apologized for the incidences stating his intentions were misinterpreted.
Social Justice and Race
Neil talked about being a black man in America and a notable scientist at an interview given at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. During this interview, he recounted a notable interview he did in 1989 about the Plasma Burst.
The astrophysicist noted that up to that point in his life, he’d never seen a black person talk about more than just being black on TV. He realized that most people around the world had a stereotype that black people were not smart.
Neil is an advocate for NASA and states that the agency requires more funding from the US government. This is the best place for the US to realize its dreams but can’t do so without support. The masses believe the agency has lots of funds, but that’s not the case at all.
Over the years, Neil had written and spoken about the Spirituality of Science, Science, and Spirituality. His view on spirituality is a deeper connection that defies words for him and the universe at large. Learning more than just the intellectual and touching the emotional is what Neil calls a spiritual encounter with the universe.