Jake LaMotta Net Worth 2023: Salary, Income, Earnings

Jake LaMotta, the American former professional boxer and stand-up comedian, had a net worth of $1 million at the time of his death. LaMotta, known as “The Bronx Bull” or “Raging Bull,” achieved fame as the world middleweight champion from 1949 to 1951.

His aggressive fighting style, characterized by constant stalking, brawling, and inside fighting, earned him a reputation as a “bully” and a formidable swarmer and slugger. Despite his hard-hitting approach, LaMotta’s ability to absorb punishment was legendary, thanks to his thick skull and jaw muscles, making him one of the toughest boxers in history.

LaMotta engaged in a notable six-fight rivalry with Sugar Ray Robinson, although he only won one of the bouts, despite dropping Robinson multiple times. LaMotta’s turbulent life both in and out of the ring was managed by his brother Joey. He was recognized as one of the greatest middleweights of all time, ranking among the top 10 by Ring Magazine.

In 1990, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. LaMotta’s autobiography formed the basis for the acclaimed 1980 film Raging Bull, which garnered multiple Academy Award nominations and earned Robert De Niro an Oscar for his portrayal of LaMotta.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name:Jake LaMotta
Net Worth:$1 Million
Monthly Salary:$10 Thousand
Annual Income:$300 Thousand
Source of Wealth:Professional Boxer, Actor, Screenwriter

Learn more: Richest Boxers in the World

Early Life

Jake LaMotta was born on July 10, 1922, in New York City to Italian parents, Elizabeth and Joseph LaMotta. Initially, there was some confusion about his birth year, with many sources stating 1921, but it was confirmed by his daughter Christi to be 1922. LaMotta’s upbringing was tough, as his father would make him fight other boys for the entertainment of the neighborhood adults, who would throw pocket change into the ring. His father used the money to help with rent.

While in a reformatory for attempted robbery, LaMotta learned how to box and later turned professional at the age of 19 in 1941. His boxing career was interrupted by World War II when he was deemed unfit for military service due to a childhood ear operation that affected his hearing.

Boxing Career

Jake LaMotta was a prominent middleweight boxer known for his aggressive style and tenacity in the ring. In his early career, he achieved an impressive record of 14-0-1, winning most of his fights by decision. However, his first loss to Jimmy Reeves in 1942 sparked controversy and chaos, with fights breaking out among the crowd.

LaMotta’s rivalry with Sugar Ray Robinson is legendary. In their first encounter in 1942, LaMotta knocked Robinson down in the first round but ultimately lost via unanimous decision. They faced each other in a series of five bouts, with LaMotta winning their second match in 1943 after knocking Robinson out of the ring. However, Robinson retaliated and won the following three fights, including a controversial split decision in their final encounter in 1945.

In 1947, LaMotta’s career took a dark turn when he was knocked out in the fourth round by Billy Fox. The fight was suspected to be fixed, and LaMotta later admitted to throwing the match to gain favor with the Mafia. This admission led to his suspension from boxing.

Despite the setback, LaMotta made a comeback and defeated Marcel Cerdan to win the World Middleweight title in 1949. Their rematch was tragically canceled due to Cerdan’s death in a plane crash. LaMotta successfully defended his title against Tiberio Mitri and Laurent Dauthuille, the latter being a thrilling fight named the Fight of the Year in 1950.

In his sixth and final fight against Sugar Ray Robinson, held on Valentine’s Day 1951, LaMotta suffered a brutal beating but refused to go down. The fight was eventually stopped in the 13th round, with Robinson winning by technical knockout.

After losing his middleweight title, LaMotta moved up to the light heavyweight division but had mixed results. He retired briefly in 1954 after a controversial split decision loss to Billy Kilgore.

Post-Boxing Pursuits

After his boxing career, Jake LaMotta ventured into various pursuits. He owned and managed a bar in Miami Beach and dabbled in stage acting and comedy. However, in 1958, he faced legal troubles when he was arrested and charged with introducing men to an underage girl at a club he owned in Miami. Despite maintaining his innocence, LaMotta was convicted and served six months on a chain gang.

In 1960, LaMotta was called to testify before a U.S. Senate sub-committee investigating underworld influence in boxing. During his testimony, he admitted to throwing his fight against Billy Fox, revealing that he did so to secure a title bout arranged by the mob.

LaMotta’s involvement in the entertainment industry extended to film and television. He appeared in more than 15 films, including “The Hustler” (1961), alongside Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason, where he played the role of a bartender. He also made appearances in episodes of the police comedy series “Car 54, Where Are You?” (1961–1963).

Being a lifelong baseball fan, LaMotta organized the Jake LaMotta All-Star Team in the Bronx, which played in Sterling Oval, located between 165th and 164th Streets between Clay and Teller Avenue.

In 1965, LaMotta took on a theatrical role as “Big Jule” in the New York City Center production of “Guys and Dolls,” performing alongside Alan King and Jerry Orbach for 15 shows.

Raging Bull

The film “Raging Bull,” released in 1980, is a cinematic masterpiece that tells the story of Jake LaMotta’s life based on his memoir, “Raging Bull: My Story.” Initially, the movie had a modest reception at the box office, but it soon garnered immense critical acclaim, particularly for director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro.

Robert De Niro took on the role of Jake LaMotta and went to great lengths to accurately portray the character. To depict the younger LaMotta, De Niro trained extensively with the boxer until LaMotta felt confident in his boxing skills. De Niro’s dedication to the role extended beyond the ring as well. In order to embody the older LaMotta in later scenes, De Niro gained approximately 60 pounds during the course of filming. He achieved this by living in Paris for three months and indulging in the finest cuisine, purposefully gaining weight to authentically represent LaMotta’s physical transformation after retirement.

De Niro’s commitment to his portrayal of LaMotta earned him widespread recognition, and he ultimately won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his remarkable performance in “Raging Bull.” His portrayal captured the essence of LaMotta’s complex character, showcasing the boxer’s intense passion, volatile temperament, and the personal struggles he faced both inside and outside the ring.

Personal Life

Jake LaMotta’s personal life was marked by turmoil and controversial incidents. He faced numerous challenges, including a period in a reformatory, and had a total of seven marriages. LaMotta was candid about his violent behavior, admitting to raping a woman, abusing his wives, and even coming close to killing someone during a robbery.

Tragedy struck LaMotta’s family in 1998 when he lost both of his sons. His elder son, Jake LaMotta Jr., passed away from liver cancer in February of that year. Just months later, in September, his younger son, Joseph LaMotta, died in the tragic crash of Swissair Flight 111, adding to the heartbreak in his personal life.

Despite the challenges he faced, LaMotta had family members who also ventured into the world of boxing and entertainment. His nephew, John LaMotta, participated in the heavyweight-novice class of the 2001 Golden Gloves championship tournament. John later pursued a career in acting, with one notable role as “Duke” in the television comedy series Frasier. Another nephew, William Lustig, gained fame as a director and producer of horror films.

LaMotta had four daughters, including Christi from his second marriage to Vikki LaMotta, and Stephanie from his fourth marriage to Dimitria. In his later years, LaMotta married Denise Baker, his longtime fiancée, in 2013. Despite his tumultuous personal life, LaMotta remained active on the speaking and autograph circuit, sharing his experiences and publishing several books that delved into his career, life, and famous bouts with Sugar Ray Robinson.

In 2012, LaMotta appeared in a New York stage production titled “Lady and the Champ,” which focused on his boxing career. However, the production received criticism from The New York Times, described as poorly executed and a “bizarre debacle.”

Favourite Jake LaMotta Quotes

When I was a kid, I wanted to fight Joe Louis. But I think if I had seen Mike Tyson at that time, I would have said, ‘Nah, I don’t want to fight him.’ He’s deadly. He could have been one of the great heavyweight champions. But he goofed.


Subconsciously – I didn’t know it then, I realize it today when I know a little bit more about the mind and the brain – I fought like I didn’t deserve to live.


I wasn’t born to be a fighter. My hands are too small, and look at these short arms.


Ask most guys what their ambition is, and they’ll say they want to get rich. But when they get rich, they discover it’s not what they wanted at all. I don’t want to be rich.


Most people aren’t good or bad. They’re naive.

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