Oliver North's Net Worth Speaks To His Long (And Controversial) Career

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This week, the National Rifle Association made a major announcement. Specifically, it named former U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North as its next president, nabbing a highly controversial name to lead the powerful pro-gun lobbying organization. If you're not familiar with him, however, you might be looking for some information about him. For example: what's Oliver North's net worth, you might be wondering?

It's important to note that people's financial situations ― at least if they're private citizens, which North has been for more than a quarter-century now ― aren't matters of public record. As such, these sorts of questions can at best be answered approximately, not precisely. In short, North is probably one of the few people who actually knows what his bank account looks like, let alone the value of his other assets.

That said, estimates of his net worth ― cobbled together from his various jobs and post-political careers, including his time on the public speaking circuit, his work as a published author, and his longtime role as a Fox News host and on-air personality ― have him pegged at approximately $5 million, as Heavy detailed earlier this week. That's a nice chunk of change, although it's only about half of the approximated net worth of longtime NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, who reportedly has about $10 million to his name.

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You might not instantly recognize North's name if you came of age politically after the early 1990s, but for those with a longer memory, he's a pretty well-known and deeply controversial figure.

North was a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal that rocked the Reagan administration in the 1980s. In short, administration officials secretly facilitated the illegal sale of American weapons to Iran, in order to raise money to fund the contras, a collection of right-wing paramilitary forces ― characterized by some as death squads ― that were engaged in a violent rebellion against the Nicaraguan government. North was ultimately convicted in 1989 for his role in the scandal, but the convictions were reversed in 1991.

That notwithstanding, however, North's involvement in the scandal made him an infamous figure. He wasn't barred from polite society for very long, however; starting in 2001, he began hosting a show on Fox News titled War Stories with Oliver North. The show ran for 101 episodes, eventually ending in 2016, and was one of the sources of mainstream publicity (and ostensibly, income) that Northby all a enjoyed in the years since the high-profile scandal.

Now, he's taking over as the president of one of the most powerful lobbying organizations in all of America, although it's worth noting that he likely won't really be running things. It's LaPierre, the organization's executive vice president, who's been its actual decision-maker and leader since assuming the position in 1991.

The title of NRA president is more of a figurehead role, and there have been 11 different presidents throughout LaPierre's 27-year tenure. The most famous of them was surely former Hollywood star Charlton Heston, who held the job from 1998 to 2003.

Out of the others, North is likely the second-most recognizable name, which might be why LaPierre hailed his hiring this week as being "the most exciting news for NRA members" since Heston took the job.

It remains to be seen what precise role he'll play now that he's taking over as NRA president, although judging by how this week has gone, it seems like he's going to be a combative presence ― he's already started attacking some of the activist survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, accusing them of engaging in "civil terrorism."