Don Lemon Net Worth: Uncovering the Financial Success of the News Anchor

Don Lemon Net Worth

Don Lemon is an acclaimed American journalist and television news anchor, best known for his work with CNN. With a career spanning multiple decades, Lemon has established himself as one of the most notable figures in the field of journalism. As of April 2023, Don Lemon’s net worth is estimated to be around $12 million.

Born in Louisiana, Lemon started his career by anchoring weekend news programs on local television stations in Pennsylvania and Alabama. His talent and dedication eventually led him to a position as a news correspondent for NBC. In 2014, he rose to prominence as the presenter of CNN Tonight, further solidifying his position as a top journalist and anchor.

Throughout his career, Don Lemon has not only managed to build an impressive net worth but also a solid reputation in the industry. Currently earning a salary of $4 million from CNN, Lemon has become one of the highest-paid journalists in the United States. Despite various challenges and controversies along the way, his success and accomplishments in the world of journalism remain unquestionable.

Early Life and Education

Donald Carlton Lemon, better known as Don Lemon, was born on March 1, 1966, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was raised by his mother under the surname of her then-husband and discovered his birth father at the age of five.

Don attended Baker High School in his hometown, where he demonstrated leadership skills, eventually being voted class president during his senior year. Following high school, Lemon pursued higher education at Louisiana State University.

Afterward, Don decided to move to New York City and further his academic career. Here he graduated from Brooklyn College, obtaining a degree in journalism. This accomplishment marked the beginning of his successful career as a television journalist and set the foundation for his future net worth.


Don Lemon began his journalism career with an internship at WNYW while attending college. After completing his studies, he worked as a weekend news anchor for local TV stations in Alabama and Louisiana. He gained experience at WBRC in Birmingham, Alabama, and WCAU in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before joining CNN in 2006.

At CNN, Lemon quickly established himself as a lead anchor and presenter. His late evening news and commentary show has become well-recognized within the industry, and Lemon has earned several accolades throughout his career. Notably, he won the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award in 2002 for his outstanding work in the field of journalism.

Beyond his work in television journalism, Don Lemon is also an accomplished author. In 2011, he released his memoir, ‘Transparent,’ in which he openly discussed his personal life, including coming out as gay. The memoir provided further insight into Lemon’s journey and experiences, both professionally and personally.

Throughout his career, Don Lemon has been dedicated to providing accurate reporting and informed analysis. His work has significantly contributed to his success, and ultimately impacted his net worth.

Career Highlights

Don Lemon began his broadcasting career working for local TV stations in Alabama and Louisiana. He gradually made a name for himself as an award-winning journalist, covering significant stories such as Hurricane Katrina, the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, and the Washington D.C. mass shootings.

In 2006, Lemon joined CNN where he now serves as the host of the late evening news and commentary program. As a prominent TV journalist, he continued to cover critical events like the Orlando nightclub shooting and the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Apart from his contributions at CNN, Don Lemon is also an accomplished author. In early 2021, he released a No. 1 New York Times best-selling book titled “This Is The Fire: What I Have To Say To My Friends About Racism.” Furthermore, Lemon has lent his expertise as an adjunct professor of broadcast journalism at Brooklyn College.

Over the course of his career, Don Lemon has received numerous accolades for his outstanding work, including several Emmy Awards and an Edward R. Murrow Award for covering the D.C. mass shootings. This recognition has played a significant role in boosting his net worth and cementing his status as a top journalist and anchor.

Personal Life

Don Lemon, born as Donald Carlton Lemon on March 1, 1966, hails from Louisiana. Growing up in a modest family, he has worked his way up to become one of the most respected journalists and television news anchors in the United States.

In 2011, Lemon publicly came out as gay in his memoir titled Transparent. His decision to reveal his sexuality was a courageous step that helped raise awareness and create a platform for discussions around LGBTQ+ topics in the media.

When it comes to his personal relationships, Lemon is currently engaged to real estate agent Tim Malone. The couple has been together since 2016, and their engagement was announced in April 2019.

Aside from his successful career and relationships, Lemon also has a passion for health and fitness. He often shares his workout routine and thoughts on maintaining a healthy lifestyle on social media, inspiring many of his followers.

Net Worth

Don Lemon, an American journalist and television news anchor, has amassed a significant net worth thanks to his career in the media industry. According to Celebrity Net Worth, his net worth is estimated to be around $12 million.

Most of Lemon’s wealth comes from his long-standing career at CNN, where he has been working since 2006. As one of the network’s lead anchors and presenters, his annual salary is reported to be $4 million.

Before joining CNN, Lemon had already made a name for himself as a skilled journalist and news anchor by working on various weekend programs for local television stations. Some of his notable roles prior to CNN include serving as a news correspondent for NBC News and working with other affiliates like WMAQ-TV in Chicago.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Don Lemon has also made income from his 2011 memoir, Transparent, where he discussed his life and coming out as gay. The book’s sales have contributed to his overall net worth as well.

It is important to recognize that Don Lemon’s net worth did not come overnight but was built gradually over the years through his dedication, hard work, and talent as a journalist and news anchor. Lemon’s substantial net worth reflects his accomplishments in the media industry and serves as an inspiration to aspiring journalists.

Philanthropy and Social Impact

Although Don Lemon’s net worth is an impressive $12 million, there is limited public information about his personal philanthropic activities. Regardless, as a respected figure in journalism, he uses his platform to promote positive social impact and provide accurate information to the public.

Throughout his career, Lemon has covered a variety of important social issues, bringing attention to matters such as racial inequality, criminal justice reform, and LGBTQ+ rights. In doing so, he ensures that his audience is well-informed about these pressing concerns and encourages meaningful conversations on potential solutions and actions.

As a prominent figure in the media, Lemon has had the opportunity to influence societal discussions and increased charitable work among high-net-worth individuals. For example, he hosted the 2018 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, which examined the charitable giving patterns of affluent households. The study found that these households gave a median of $29,269 to different charity organizations in 2017, showcasing the potential impact that affluent individuals can have on philanthropic causes.

In summary, while there may not be extensive details regarding Don Lemon’s specific philanthropic endeavors, his influence extends through his dedication to sharing well-researched information and fostering fair and insightful discussions. These efforts contribute to a greater understanding of societal issues and inspire those with the resources to take action for positive change.


Don Lemon has faced a number of controversies throughout his career as a journalist and news anchor. One such controversy arose when he publicly criticized actor Kevin Hart for making homophobic jokes in the past. Lemon’s critique of Hart sparked a heated debate between the two, with Hart responding by questioning Lemon’s credibility and intentions.

Another notable controversy occurred during Lemon’s coverage of the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri over the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer. While on air, Lemon described the smell of marijuana in the air, leading many viewers to criticize him for perpetuating negative stereotypes of the African American community.

In addition to these incidents, Lemon has also received backlash for making divisive statements regarding race and politics. For example, he once caused an uproar when he suggested that more stringent gun control measures would not have prevented the Charleston church shooting in 2015. Critics argued that his statement reflected a lack of empathy for the victims and a misunderstanding of the motivations behind the attack.

Despite these controversies, Don Lemon remains an influential figure in the media landscape. His net worth of $12 million demonstrates the success he has achieved in his profession, and his work continues to generate significant interest and debate among viewers.

Awards and Recognitions

Throughout his career, Don Lemon has received several prestigious awards and recognitions. He has been recognized for his excellence in journalism and dedication to reporting on important issues.

In 2002, Don Lemon won an Emmy Award for his report on Chicago’s real estate market. Besides his Emmy win, Lemon has also been honored with multiple Edward R. Murrow Awards for his outstanding work in news reporting. These awards are highly sought-after within the journalism community, highlighting Lemon’s exceptional talents as a journalist.

The National Association of Black Journalists has also recognized Don Lemon for his hard work and dedication to the field of journalism. He received the NABJ “Journalist of the Year” award in 2014, which honors excellence in the field among African American journalists.

In addition to his journalism accolades, Lemon has also been recognized for his role as a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community. He was included on Out Magazine’s “Power 50” list, highlighting some of the most influential LGBTQ+ individuals in the media, business, and entertainment industries.

Though this section only covers a selection of Don Lemon’s awards and recognitions, it is evident that he has made a significant impact in the field of journalism and has been well-appreciated for his consistent dedication to honest and informative reporting.


Don Lemon, an esteemed American journalist and television news anchor, has made a remarkable impact in the media industry. His dedication and hard work have earned him a prominent position at CNN and a significant financial reward.

As of April 2023, Don Lemon’s net worth stands at an impressive $12 million. A considerable portion of this net worth comes from his annual salary of $4 million as a CNN presenter.

Throughout his career, Don Lemon has utilized his communication skills and knowledge to bring critical information and news stories to viewers worldwide. With continued success and growth, it is expected that Don Lemon will remain a pivotal figure in the world of broadcast journalism.

Written by Sebastian Hensiek

From Philadelphia, Sebastian is a fan of music, writing, art, and entertainment.