Barbara Corcoran’s Net Worth: From Receptionist to ‘Shark Tank’ Millionaire, A Look at Her Most Profitable Investments

Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran is a businesswoman, investor, and author. But she’s probably best known to the world as one of the sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank. Corcoran has amassed a sizable net worth over the years. So, how did New York’s Queen of Real Estate make her millions?

Here are the highlights of Corcoran’s life and how the investor and television personality made her millions. 

Investor Barbara Corcoran
Photo Credit: ABC

Early Life

Barbara Ann Corcoran was born in Edgewater, New Jersey on March 10, 1949. She was one of nine siblings and was raised in an Irish-Catholic household. Corcoran is dyslexic and attended St. Cecilia High School before dropping out. She eventually transferred to Leonia High School.

Corcoran attended St. Thomas Aquinas College in 1971, earning a degree in education. After graduating, she spent a year teaching school. The millionaire revealed she held 22 different jobs before she started pursuing a career in real estate.


When Barbara Corcoran was 23 years old, she worked as a receptionist at the Giffuni Brothers’ real estate firm. Corcoran planned to start her own business and borrowed $1,000 from her then-boyfriend Ray Simone. They co-founded the real estate firm Corcoran-Simone in 1973. They broke up seven years later in 1980 when Simone left her for her secretary.

Simone, at the time, told Corcoran that she wouldn’t succeed with him, and she has succeeded in proving him wrong since then. The Corcoran-Simone firm became the Corcoran Group, and by 2001, she sold the firm to NRT for $66 million.

“I went out, and I bought my mother and father a new car. They had never had a new car. I had my Uncle Richie and his best friend drive the car down to Florida, put a big bow on the top, and park it on the driveway,” Corcoran told CNBC’s Make It, about what she did with her first profit.

“Six was my lucky number,” said Corcoran, adding that when NRT made the initial offer of $22 million, she said, “It’s worth $66 million. Call me when you get $66 million.” And the deal went through.

The morning after the deal, Corcoran really felt the reality sink in when she went to withdraw some cash from the bank. “I looked at the receipt, and I had $44 million in my checking account!” “That’s when it hit me, you know, it hit me: I’m in a different position now. I can do whatever I want.”

Corcoran started publishing a real estate newsletter called “The Corcoran Report,” in the mid-1970s.


Barbara Corcoran has made more than 50 deals throughout her appearances on Shark Tank, according to Sharkalytics. It’s also reported that she has invested in over 80 businesses, including the wearable blanket company, The Comfy, which appeared in Shark Tank Season 9.

They asked for $50,000 in exchange for 20% of the company. It has been one of Corcoran’s most successful investments, as she revealed on The Daniel Mac Show.

“I took the deal myself. I got a third of the business for, I think, $50,000,” said Corcoran. “They made me $468 million in three years. Nobody wanted it…I never anticipated.”

Shark Tank Sharks
ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ stars Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, and Kevin O’Leary.

Shark Tank & Other Ventures

In 2009, Barbara Corcoran became one of the sharks on the business reality show Shark Tank. She starred in the show alongside fellow investors Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, and Kevin Harrington. Shark Tank won four consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Structured Reality Series from 2014 to 2017. The show has also won four Critics Choice Television Awards.

“I’m exactly the same person I was…before Shark Tank,” She said in an interview with Inc. “Yet the whole world treats me as if I’m somebody new. It’s a joke. It’s false fame.”

Corcoran also appeared as a contestant on Season 25 of Dancing With the Stars in 2017. She and her dance partner Keo Motsepe were the first pair eliminated from the show. Corcoran has made more appearances as herself on several other shows like Drop Dead Diva in 2013 and Grace and Frankie in 2020.

She has also ventured into podcasts and public speaking on small business and real estate. Additionally, Corcoran has an active Instagram, with over 1 million followers in which she also discusses these topics.

She also authored books including, “If You Don’t Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons On Your Pigtails And Other Lessons I Learned From My Mom” in 2003, “Nextville: Amazing Places to Live Your Life” in 2008, and “Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion-Dollar Business” in 2011.

While we’re noting all of Corcoran’s successes, she herself also stresses the importance of failure.

“Failing a lot is the ultimate proof that you’re meant to be a successful entrepreneur, as it shows you’re willing to shake up the status quo and try new things,” Corcoran told The Future of Business and Tech. “You need to be able to take a hit, bounce back up and say, ‘Hit me again.’ If you can’t take a hit, you won’t stay in business.”

Barbara Corcoran Shark
Photo Credit: ABC

Personal Life

Barbara Corcoran is married to retired Navy/former FBI agent Bill Higgins. The pair have been married since 1988 and welcomed their son Tom in 1994. Corcoran underwent in vitro fertilization with an egg from her sister Florence. Corcoran and Higgins also adopted a girl named Kate in 2005.

As said earlier, Corcoran is known to be dyslexic, and she also likes skiing and going to the beach.

Corcoran and her husband also have quite an investment in real estate. They purchased a 2,700-square-foot Park Avenue apartment in 2001 for $3.5 million. In 2015, the couple bought a penthouse on Fifth Avenue for $10 million. The penthouse has 11 rooms with a solarium, a conservatory, and a landscaped terrace.

She has even gone viral in 2022 for her TikTok post giving a tour of her Manhattan apartment which costs $10,000 a month in maintenance alone. In a 2020 interview, Corcoran is estimated to have spent $13 million on the property.

“I was working as a messenger 26 years ago. I came, I delivered a package, I saw the video out of her door right there,” she said in the video, gesturing to the main kitchen window. “And I said, ‘If you ever sell this, ma’am, would you sell it to me?’ She called me 26 years later.”

Recently, Corcoran also gave a tour of her $1 million mobile home in Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles. “Here’s my Taj Mahal,” said Corcoran. “Everything’s little.”

Barbara Corcoran on Shark Tank
Photo Credit: ABC

Barbara Corcoran’s Net Worth Today

As of 2023, Barbara Corcoran has a net worth of $100 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. While she’s no billionaire like her fellow shark, Mark Cuban, Corcoran’s net worth is still quite impressive.

Her appearance on Shark Tank has notably contributed to her high net worth. According to Variety, Corcoran received $50,000 per episode or $1 million a season in 2016. The amount today would naturally be higher, but it’s unknown how much she makes per episode today.

Corcoran has also maintained that money doesn’t buy happiness, saying, “I’m no happier today than I was when I was dirt poor.” 

“You think something would have changed? No, I’m still insecure about the same things. I’m still nervous about the same things,” Corcoran told CNBC Make It.


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