James Dolan net worth, background & franchises owned

For fans of the Knicks, the value of James Dolan’s net worth is an important one. While Dolan is among the richest NBA owners, the Knicks haven’t exactly had a successful run during his time in charge, as they’ve not gotten close to winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

That only adds to the curiosity around the Knicks owner’s wealth and other pertinent details of Dolan’s life and career.

Who is James Dolan?

After all, the hopes and dreams of millions of New York sports fans hinge on how Dolan runs the team. The fact that James Dolan’s net worth is substantial doesn’t seem to sit well with fans when the Knicks aren’t a serious championship contender.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at who Dolan is and what NBA fans should know about him.

What is James Dolan’s net worth?

As of 2023, James Dolan’s net worth is estimated at around $2 billion.

However, he’s not a self-made billionaire, as a vast majority of his fortune has been passed down to him by his father Charles Dolan, who was the founder of HBO and has had countless other business ventures.

How old is James Dolan?

Born on May 11, 1955, James Dolan’s age is 68 as of 2023.

He was born on Long Island in Massapequa, New York, so he’s been tied to the New York City area for most of his life.

How does James Dolan own the Knicks?

The story of James Dolan owning the Knicks began in 1995 when he became the CEO of Cablevision, a company founded by his father. After Viacom acquired the company that owns Madison Square Garden in 1994, MSG was sold again with Cablevision and ITT Corporation each owning 50%. A few years later, ITT sold its 50% share to Cablevision, who then owned Madison Square Garden in its entirety.

Around 1999, Dolan began to become more involved in the sports teams owned by Madison Square Garden. He ultimately became the CEO and executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Sports and Madison Square Garden Entertainment, making him the day-to-day supervisor of all operations involving the Knicks.

What other teams does James Dolan own?

The Knicks aren’t the only team that is controlled by Madison Square Garden Sports, which means there are other teams owned by James Dolan.

He’s also in charge of overseeing the New York Rangers of the NHL and the New York Liberty of the WNBA. The Rangers and the Knicks currently share Madison Square Garden while the Liberty currently play their home games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. 

How did James Dolan get his start?

As mentioned, James Dolan grew up on Long Island, ultimately going to college at SUNY New Paltz. After college, he started working for Cablevision, a company his father founded. He had several jobs with Cablevision and even helped to launch a sports radio station at one point.

In 1995, he became the CEO of Cablevision, which eventually led to him serving as an executive and the controlling owner of the Knicks.

Who is James Dolan’s father?

James Dolan’s father Charles has long been a prominent American businessman. He’s best known as the founder of both Cablevision and HBO. In addition to the Dolan family having controlling interest in Madison Square Garden Sports and Madison Square Garden Entertainment, Charles Dolan also owns BBC America, AMC Networks, Radio City Music Hall, and several other entities linked to Madison Square Garden.

Despite being a prominent figure in New York City, Charles Dolan once put in a bid to buy the Boston Red Sox but fell short. Meanwhile, Charles Dolan’s brother Larry and his nephew Paul are the current owners of the Cleveland Guardians. As of 2023, Charles Dolan is 96 years old and has a net worth of over $5 billion.

Does James Dolan have a family?

James Dolan grew up as one of six kids of his father Charles and mother Helen. Ironically, James has six kids, all sons.

Dolan’s four oldest sons are from his first marriage while his other two sons are from his second marriage. He and his second wife Kristin got married in 2002 at the famous Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. In 2023, Kristin was named the CEO of AMC Networks, which is one of many business entities within the Dolan family.

What was James Dolan’s first career choice?

In many ways, James Dolan was raised to be a businessman and follow in his father’s footsteps. However, that was not what he originally planned on spending his life. When he first attended SUNY New Paltz, Dolan’s intention was to pursue a career in music. However, he pivoted and ended up switching his major to communications.

But Dolan never fully abandoned music altogether. Since 2005, he’s been the lead singer of a three-piece blues and rock band called JD & The Straight Shot (JD referring to Dolan’s initials). As of 2023, the band has released seven albums and has had songs featured in several movies and TV shows. JD & The Straight Shot has also served as an opening act for several prominent artists, including Keith Urban, ZZ Top, The Dixie Chicks, and even The Eagles, all thanks to Dolan’s connections to the entertainment world. 

Unfortunately, Dolan and the band haven’t always received positive reviews. Following a performance in 2017, one reviewer offered a harsh critique of Dolan, saying “sings like he’s trying not to cough, and it’s possible he can’t play the guitar,” adding that “most of his lyrics simply summarize current events or books that he’s read as if he were presenting a 10th grade English class project.”

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