In his illustrious 43-year career, Spike Lee has been credited as an actor, director, producer, and writer. The Academy-Award laureate has a prodigious body of work that explores race relations, crime, poverty, and media typecast.
As of March 2020, Spike Lee's net worth stands at $40 million. A veteran of the filmmaking industry, Lee has dedicated his life in pursuit of providing experiences that not only thrill audiences, but highlight the perilous issues plaguing modern society - issues close to his heart like race, power, abuse, crime, and poverty.
On IMDb, his directorial credits are listed as 90; as a producer, he has 80 credits; and as an actor, he has 22 credits to date.
Some of his most famous works include the movies Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, Inside Man, and BlacKkKlansman, the latter of which landed him his first - and to date, his only - Academy Award win for Best Adapted Screenplay out of four other nominations.
Lee had also been the recipient of the Cannes Grand-Prix for BlacKkKlansman in 2018.
Spike Lee dropped $16.6 million in 1998 to purchase a high-end Upper East Side Manhattan townhouse that was once the Vanderbilt family residence.
The 9000-square-foot townhouse has five bedrooms, three fireplaces, and a library. The pièce de résistance is a stunning courtyard that is incongruous compared to the concrete jungle that is Manhattan.
Built-in 1916, by the architect Frederick J. Sterner, the home was a gift from the aristocrat Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt to her daughter as a wedding gift.
When Lee put the property up for sale in January 2014, he listed the home at double the price that he bought: a whopping $32 million!
He is also the proud owner of a two-acre estate in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Lee originally purchased the property in 1989 for $400,000 and had a four-bedroom estate built. The property is estimated at $3 to 4 million in 2020.
In March 2012, Lee used Twitter to circulate the message that claimed to give the address of George Zimmerman, who was responsible for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The address was incorrect, and the real occupants, Elaine and David McClain had to leave home because of constant harassment online and in person.
In November 2013, the couple filed a lawsuit against Lee accusing of "encouraging a dangerous mob mentality among his Twitter followers, as well as the public-at-large." The lawsuit valued at $1.2 million continued even after the initial settlement through Zimmerman's trial, which is why the Seminole County judge dismissed the case.
Born originally as Shelton Jackson Lee in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 20, 1957, the name "Spike" was given to Shelton by his mother.
Spike was born to an arts and black literature teacher, Jacqueline Carroll, and a jazz musician and composer William James Edward Lee III. He is the oldest of four siblings, and his siblings, Joie, David, and Cinqué, have all collaborated with Spike in some capacity on his movies.
When his family moved to Brooklyn, New York, Spike started his career firing on all cylinders.
He went on to graduate from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in film and television. He had also begun making amateur films while studying at his alma mater, Morehouse College.
Lee has been married to the NY attorney, Tonya Lewis, since 1993. They had met a year prior and bonded over their mutual love of the cinema; Lewis is an acclaimed movie and TV producer in her own right.
They made their matrimony official on October 2, 1993. In December 1994, they welcomed their first child: a daughter named Satchel Lee. They also went on to have a son named Jackson Lee, born in 1997.