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Ellen DeGeneres’ Fortune Explained: From Growing up Poor to Flipping Houses for Fun

Believe it or not, Ellen DeGeneres, one of the richest self-made women, grew up in a poor family in Louisiana who didn’t own a house. That’s hard to digest, we know, because of how successful she is and the money she is making nowadays.

Long before anyone has come to know her as the generous, influential philanthropist that’s on the same level as THE Oprah Winfrey, Ellen was first a struggling comedian in New Orleans.

By 1994, her very own sitcom Ellen premiered and while it seemed that she was slowly making progress, everything went downhill after she came out of the closet in 1997.

By that time, Ellen stopped getting offers and was running out of money. But a silver lining appeared in 2000 in the form of a Pixar animated film called Finding Nemo, where she voiced the blue tang fish, Dory.

The saving grace ultimately paid her $75,000 for three years of work but it was enough to get her back on track. In 2003, her eponymous talk show was launched and up until this day it has been instrumental in giving her a comfortable life.

Former President Barack Obama was once a guest of the show

In fact, 60 percent of her fortune came from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she had powerful people, such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as guests.

On top of that, she also works behind camera with A Very Good Production and had partnered with several big companies like American Express and JCPenney.

How She Spends Her Money

Last year she raked in $80.5 million, joining the list of America’s richest female celebrities. But despite her rough past, Ellen isn’t afraid to spend.

Since the launch of her talk show, Ellen already had 20 houses bought and flipped – something that she revealed was a hobby.

Maybe this can be traced to her childhood as her mom was a real estate agent but ironically, they had no house so it was frustrating for the celebrity.

Will Ferrell bought Ellen’s house in 2006

In fact, Ellen bought a house – a Hollywood Hills home worth $6 million in 2003 — with her first massive paycheck. This property was beautified further and she sold it to Will Ferrell for $3 million more than its original price.

On top of flipping and selling houses, she and wife Portia de Rossi love traveling. They have been to London, Italy, Tanzania, and Kenya.

Ellen is also a conscious eater, oftentimes being spotted in vegan restos. Her fortune gets scratched with her expensive car taste, too.

Portia and Ellen spend millions in real estate

Plus, she loves spoiling Portia and her four dogs and three cats with lavish gifts. But everything’s not about opulence: she is also known for being a philanthropist.

Ellen spends millions donating to various causes, schools, and calamity fund drives. She is a well-known animal rights advocate and a vocal supporter of organizations with the same purpose.

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