The stars of Duck Dynasty, the Robertson family, have enjoyed phenomenal success from a financial point of view. That’s no secret. They were already millionaires from their business manufacturing duck calls before they became the stats of the hit reality TV show Duck Dynasty.
The Robertson clan get a plenty of humor from portraying themselves as backwater hicks on Duck Dynasty, and the show has also been a goldmine for Phil Roberston, his sons, and their wives, made more so by the generous government handouts given to the show by the state of Louisiana.
But given how much money the Robertsons make from acting dumb and selling devices that make it easier for people to hunt and kill ducks, how does the Robertson family compare to the world’s smartest human being?
That would be physicist Stephen Hawking, the now-72-year-old British genius responsible for integrating quantum mechanics with the general theory of relativity and many other breakthroughs that have dramatically advanced human understanding of the universe.
Hawking is also among the most successful authors of popular science, the difficult craft of explaining complex scientific principles to a general audience. His 1988 classic A Brief History of Time spent more than four years on the bestseller list, and has sold more than 10 million copies.
There’s an old saying that goes something like, “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?” Stephen Hawking is of course extremely smart, and he is indeed rich. But compared to the fortune amassed by the stars of Duck Dynasty, Hawking remains a relative pauper.
Using figures compiled by the site Celebrity Net Worth reveals that Stephen Hawking, the man who first demonstrated that matter can indeed escape from black holes, thus standing on its head previous scientific beliefs, possesses a net worth of $20 million.
That amount is roughly the same as the net worth compiled by one member of the Duck Dynasty family alone. Willie Robertson, CEO of the family’s Duck Commander duck call business, also has a net worth of $20 million.
As a family, the Duck Dynasty clan is worth far more. Counting just the men who appear on Duck Dynasty, the Roberstons boast a combined net worth of $53 million. When wives are included, the family who makes Duck Dynasty the king of cable reality TV is worth a whopping $82 million.
Not only is that four times the worth of the man believed to be the smartest in the world, it is also roughly equivalent to 58 Nobel Prizes, of the amount received by physicists Peter Higgs and Francois Englert, who won last year’s Nobel Prize for their theory explaining how the matter that now comprises the universe came into existence.
But it is perhaps unfair to single out the Duck Dynasty stars for accumulating greater wealth than Stephen Hawking and other extraordinary geniuses who have advanced human understanding to levels that would only recently have been beyond imagination.
Other celebrities are also worth more than Stephen Hawking. For example, Cuban-American rapper Pitbull ($50 million), porn star Jenna Jameson ($30 million), Jackass creator Johnny Knoxville ($75 million), and of course, fellow reality TV star Kim Kardashian ($65 million) all join the Duck Dynasty cast in possessing far greater wealth that the world’s smartest man.