Willie E Gary Net Worth, Cars, Houses, Legal Career, Family, Legacy 2024

Willie E. Gary is an American attorney, motivational speaker, and businessman who has built a net worth of $215 million. He earned the nickname “The Giant Killer” by taking down some of America’s largest corporations on behalf of his clients.

Willie E Gary Net Worth 2024

Willie E Gary Net Worth

Born in 1947 to parents who were southern sharecroppers, Gary overcame extreme poverty and racism to become one of the most successful trial lawyers in the United States. After putting himself through law school, he opened the first Black law firm in Martin County, Florida in the 1970s.

Today, Willie E. Gary is the senior partner at The Law Firm of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson, Gary & Gillespie based in West Palm Beach. The firm specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice, and class action lawsuits.

Key facts about Willie E. Gary:

  • Net Worth: $215 million
  • Law Firm: The Law Firm of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson, Gary & Gillespie
  • Best Known For: Multi-million dollar lawsuit verdicts against large corporations
  • Nickname: “The Giant Killer”

Willie E Gary Net Worth 2024

As of 2024, reliable sources estimate Willie E. Gary’s net worth at $215 million. The vast majority of his wealth comes from contingency fees earned from his high-profile litigation victories.

It’s estimated that Gary has won more than $10 billion for his clients over his long legal career. Taking a typical 30-50% cut of those judgments has made him an extremely wealthy man.

Outside of his law career, Gary has earned money from speaking fees, book royalties, and business investments. He lives a lavish lifestyle with multiple homes, including a $5 million waterfront mansion in Florida.

Early Life and Career

  • Born on July 12, 1947 in Eastman, Georgia
  • Parents were sharecroppers named Turner and Mary Gary
  • Had 10 siblings, his twin died at birth
  • The family often lived in tents and migrated to find work
  • Settled in Indiantown, Florida when Gary was 13
  • Started a lawn business to support his family
  • Graduated from Shaw University on a football scholarship
  • Earned law degree from North Carolina Central University
  • Passed the Florida Bar in 1974
  • Launched his firm after law firms refused to hire black lawyers

Contingency Lawsuits Make Gary Ultra-Wealthy

Willie E. Gary became wealthy by taking cases on a contingency basis. This means his firm only collects legal fees if they obtain a settlement or favorable judgment for their client.

The standard contingency fee rate is 30-50% of the final award. So if Gary wins a $100 million case, his firm may take home $30-$50 million.

This is a risky way to operate a law firm because they front all the costs of litigation. But Gary has shown an incredible knack for winning big verdicts.

Notable Multi-Million Dollar Verdicts:

  • $500 million – Won against Loewen Group funeral chain
  • $240 million – Won against Disney for client All Pro Sports
  • $23 billion – Won against RJ Reynolds Tobacco (overturned on appeal)

However, Gary has also faced financial issues over the years related to loans taken out to finance his expensive lawsuits.

In 2013, his home was raided to collect $3.2 million in unpaid debts. But true to his “Giant Killer” persona, Gary always manages to bounce back.

The Historic $500 Million Funeral Home Verdict

In Gary’s most famous case, he represented a small funeral home operator named Jeremiah O’Keefe who was suing a large funeral chain called the Loewen Group.

  • O’Keefe alleged Loewen reneged on a contract they had in place
  • Gary filed a $500 million lawsuit on behalf of O’Keefe in 1995
  • After a lengthy court battle, Gary won a stunning $500 million verdict for O’Keefe
  • On appeal, the case ultimately settled for $175 million

This case was depicted in the 2022 Amazon Prime Video movie “The Burial” starring Jamie Foxx as Willie E. Gary.

Willie E. Gary’s Personal Life and Philanthropy

  • Married childhood girlfriend Gloria Royal while in college
  • They have 5 children together
  • In 1991, Gary donated $10 million to his alma mater Shaw University
  • Has donated millions more to historically Black universities
  • Started The Gary Foundation in 1994 to provide scholarships to youth
  • Sons Kenneth and Ali help run the foundation

Homes and Toys:

  • Owns 32-passenger private jet (“Wings of Justice II”)
  • Also owns a private Gulfstream jet
  • Sold Florida mega-mansion in 2022 for $5.25 million
  • Previously owned 14,500 square foot waterfront home

Honors and Awards

  • Horatio Alger Award – 1999
  • The American Bar Association’s Spirit of Excellence Award – 2019
  • South Carolina General Assembly honored Gary with Bill 5050 in 2004
  • Named one of the “100 Most Influential Black Americans” by Ebony – 2002
  • Forbes “Top 50 Attorneys in the U.S.”

Gary’s Private Jets

Willie E. Gary owns not one but two private jets that he uses to fly around the country for business and pleasure. His main jet is a Boeing 737-200 called “Wings of Justice II.”

  • Seats 32 passengers
  • Has multiple bedrooms
  • $1.2 million sound system
  • Full kitchen
  • Custom painted with name on exterior
  • Previously owned by Malaysian Airlines and Copa Airlines

He also owns a private Gulfstream jet named “Wings of Justice.” Flying private allows Gary to efficiently manage his national law firm while enjoying luxury travel.

Florida Mansion Sells For $5 Million in 2022

In 2022, Willie E. Gary sold his longtime Florida residence for $5,225,000:

  • 14,500 square foot waterfront home
  • Located in the town of Sewall’s Point
  • Built the ornate 8 bedroom mansion in 1992
  • Included a wine cellar, game room, 5-car garage
  • Sold in 2022 for a bit over $5 million
  • Had been listed for as high as $6.5 million

Even with the mansion sold, Gary likely owns several other luxury properties around the country given his immense wealth.

Willie E. Gary’s Family

  • Wife: Gloria Gary (married in college)
  • 5 children together: Kenneth, Sekou, Ali, Kelly, Ashley
  • Twin sibling died at birth
  • Had 10 total siblings, parents were migrant farmers
  • Sons Kenneth and Ali help run The Gary Foundation philanthropy
  • Son Sekou is a partner at The Gary Law Firm

Frequently Asked Questions About Willie Gary

Here are answers to 10 common questions people have about this famous attorney.

  • What is Willie Gary’s biggest case?

His most famous case is the $500 million verdict against the Loewen Group funeral home chain. It ultimately settled for $175 million but put Gary on the national map.

  • What does The Giant Killer nickname mean?

Gary earned this nickname for his ability to win huge verdicts against large corporations on behalf of average people and small businesses.

  • What kind of jet does Willie Gary own?

He owns two private jets – a 32-seat Boeing 737 called Wings of Justice II and a Gulfstream jet named Wings of Justice.

  • How much real estate does Willie Gary own?

In 2022 Gary sold his Florida mega-mansion for $5+ million. He likely owns other luxury properties across the U.S. given his immense wealth.

  • How did Willie Gary make his money?

Almost entirely through contingency lawsuit fees. By winning billions for his clients, Gary has earned an estimated half a billion or more over his long legal career.

  • How much did Willie Gary pay for his private jet?

He reportedly spent $11 million to acquire and customize his Boeing 737 jet back in 2003.

  • What charities does Willie E. Gary donate to?

The Gary Foundation provides scholarships and support to youth and students. He has also donated tens of millions to historically Black colleges and universities.

  • What college did Willie Gary graduate from?

Gary graduated from Shaw University and later North Carolina Central University School of Law.

  • How old is attorney Willie E. Gary?

As of 2024, Willie E. Gary is 76 years old. He was born in 1947 in rural Georgia in extreme poverty.

  • Where does Willie E. Gary live now?

Likely in Florida or elsewhere after selling his longtime Palm Beach mansion in 2022 for over $5 million. His law firm is based in West Palm Beach, FL.

Other Top Lawyers Net Worth Guides:

Conclusion: Willie Gary Overcomes Incredible Odds to Become “The Giant Killer”:

When you look at Willie E. Gary’s background, his immense success seems almost impossible. Coming up in the Jim Crow-era South as the impoverished son of sharecroppers in Georgia, Gary was able to put himself through college and law school through hard work and talent.

As one of the first successful Black trial attorneys in the country, Gary battled racism and discrimination throughout his early career. But he overcame it to build a national reputation, hundreds of millions in personal wealth, and a hugely successful law firm.

Gary earned the nickname “Giant Killer” through his ability to win unexpected David vs Goliath lawsuit victories against huge corporations. And he has donated tens of millions back to Black communities and colleges across America.

While he has faced financial issues over the years, Gary has shown a knack for overcoming adversity time and time again. As he enters the later stages of his esteemed legal career, Willie E. Gary’s legacy as one of America’s most famous and wealthiest trial lawyers has long been secured.

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