Stephen A. Smith is a popular American sports media personality, writer, and actor. He was born in New York City on October 14, 1967, and has a net worth of $20 million. Smith is known for his appearances on various ESPN programs, talk radio shows, and as a contributor to various online and print media outlets. Here’s everything you need to know about Stephen A. Smith’s net worth, salary, early life, career, and controversies.

Stephen A. Smith’s Salary

Stephen A. Smith’s salary has been a subject of discussion over the years due to his prominence in the sports media industry. Up until April of 2019, he was earning $5 million per year from ESPN. However, in mid-April of that same year, he signed a new deal with ESPN that pays him $8 million per year, making him the highest-paid ESPN personality. Although this number was eventually topped by Tony Romo’s $17 million per year deal with CBS, Smith’s earnings still testify to his worth and value in the industry.

Early Life and Career

Stephen A. Smith grew up in the Bronx, New York, where he was born. He attended the Fashion Institute of Technology for one year before transferring to Winston-Salem State University on a basketball scholarship. He played basketball for the university’s team under renowned coach Clarence Gaines. Smith started his journalism career while working as a clerk in the sports department of the Winston-Salem Journal. He later went on to work at publications like the Greensborough News and Record and the New York Daily News. However, his most substantial break came when he was hired by The Philadelphia Inquirer. He initially started as an NBA writer for the Philadelphia 76ers, but he eventually got promoted to become a general sports columnist.

ESPN and Acting Career

Stephen A. Smith started working with ESPN in 2003 and has since hosted and appeared on various programs on the network. He joined ESPN’s First Take in 2012, which is one of his most notable roles on the network. In addition to his sports media career, Smith also has an acting career that has seen him make cameo appearances in TV shows and movies. He has also appeared in several Oberto beef jerky commercials.

Talk Radio

Talk radio is another area in which Stephen A. Smith has experienced considerable success. He started his radio career with WEPN radio in New York City in 2005 before moving on to host a show on ESPN Radio. He also contributed to Fox Sports Radio and eventually hosted their morning show. In 2013, Smith left ESPN radio to join Chris Russo’s Mad Dog Sports Channel, which aired on Sirius/XM. He moved back to ESPN in 2017, and his show was once again hosted on Sirius/XM.


Stephen A. Smith’s “straight-up” approach to commentary has led to several controversies over the years. His comments about domestic violence and women’s soccer in particular have been subject to criticism and scrutiny. However, Smith remains a prominent figure in the sports media industry due to his expertise, knowledge, and experience.

Personal Life

Stephen A. Smith has two daughters, but he has never married, and he keeps most of his personal life private.


In conclusion, Stephen A. Smith’s net worth and salary reflect his importance and contribution to the sports media industry. He has had a successful career that spans over two decades, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Despite his controversies and criticisms, Smith remains a pivotal and influential figure who continues to shape and influence the sports media landscape.