Harvey Pekar Net Worth

Read more about Harvey Pekar Biography

Pekar was born into a Jewish family, who immigrated from Poland after World War II. He claimed his childhood was difficult since he was often physically abused by his peers, since he was one of the few remaining white children in his neighborhood. After graduating from Shaker Heights High School, Harvey enrolled at Case Western Reserve University, but dropped out after the first year to serve in the US Navy. He then worked various odd jobs before getting a job at Cleveland’s Veteran’s Administration Hospital as a file clerk, a job he held until his retirement, refusing all promotions even after becoming famous. Through their mutual love of jazz, Harvey met cartoonist and musician Rober Crumb, and their friendship eventually led to him creating an autobiographical comic book series – “American Splendor”.

However, his career really started in the early ‘70s, when Pekar showed some of his stories to Crumb and artist Robert Armstrong, who were so impressed they offered to illustrate them. Soon, Pekar & Crumb’s “Crazy Ed” was published becoming Harvey’s first published work of comics. More work followed such as “A Mexican Tale”, “It Pays to Advertise”, “Ain’ It The Truth” and other. Harvey’s first issue of “American Splendor” series appeared in 1976, and documented his daily life in the Cleveland neighborhoods. It was illustrated by Crumb, Budgett, Dumm and Brian Bram and some of the stories were later collected into many books and anthologies. These formed the base of his net worth.

In 2003, directed by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman, a film adaptation of “American Splendor” was released and included Harvey’s personal appearance in the movie. One of Pekar’s notable biographies includes “American Splendor: Unsung Her”(2003) which portrays the experience of one of his co-workers in the Vietnam War. His other work includes “The Quitter”(2005), “Ego&Hubris:The Michael Malice Story”(2006), “Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History”(2008), “The Beats”(2009), “Studs Terkel’s Working: A Graphic Adaptation”(2009), and “The Pekar Project”(2010). All contributed steadily to his net worth.

Privately, Harvey married three times, firstly to Karen Delaney (1960-72), then to Helen Lark Hall (1977-81), and thirdly to writer Joyce Brabner with whom he worked on the creation on the novel autobiography “Our Cancer Year”, which described his successful treatment for lymphoma. The couple lived with their foster daughter Danielle in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, where he died on 12th July 2010.

Structural info

  • Full Name: Harvey Pekar
  • Net Worth: $12 Million
  • Date Of Birth: October 8, 1939
  • Died: July 12, 2010
  • Place Of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • Profession: Screenwriter, Actor, Cartoonist, Author
  • Education: Shaker Heights High School, Case Western Reserve University
  • Nationality: American
  • Spouse: Joyce Brabner (m. 1984–2010), Helen Lark Hall (m. 1977–1981), Karen Delaney (m. 1960–1972)
  • Children: Danielle Pekar
  • Siblings: Allen Pekar
  • IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0670688
  • Awards: American Book Awards, Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame
  • Movies: , American Splendor, HypaSpace
  • TV Shows: HypaSpace


  • “Life is about women, gigs, an’ bein’ creative.” (Epitaph on his headstone)
  • As a matter of fact, I deliberately look for the mundane, because I feel these stories are ignored. The most influential things that happen to virtually all of us are the things that happen on a daily basis. not the traumas. Yet, because they are common, writers ignore them as not being fit to write about. I take the opposite point of view. I think you can find all the elements that you can find in great literature in mundane experiences. You can find heroism everyday, like guys working terrible jobs because they’ve got to support their families. Or as far as humor, the things I see on the job, on the street, are far funnier than anything you’ll ever see on TV.
  • I very frequently get letters from people that say, “Yea, I went through that myself, and I really got a lot of comfort from your story.” That makes me feel good. People who’ve had lousy experiences like to read about somebody else going through the same crap, so they find out they’re not the only ones. Misery loves company. There’s a lot to that.
  • (On friend and collaborator R. Crumb (aka Robert Crumb): “He has a good eye and ear for the way people are and the way they talk. And he draws better than just about anybody in the world”.
  • (On first meeting Paul Giamatti): “You’d better be the man your father was”. (Bart Giamatti, who was a professor of Renaissance Literature at Yale and was Commissioner of Baseball when Pete Rose was banned from the game).


  • According to his widow, Joyce Brabner, his ashes will be interred in Cleveland, Ohio’s Lakeview Cemetery, next to Elliot Ness. [2010]
  • Retired from his job as a filing clerk in a Veteran’s hospital. [2003]
  • Died on the exact same day as counter-culture poet and musician Tuli Kupferberg.
  • At the time of his death, he had been suffering from prostate cancer, asthma, high blood pressure and depression.
  • He and his wife, Joyce Brabner, are the legal guardians of teenager Danielle Batone.
  • Paid $100 for his first appearance on Late Show with David Letterman (1993). He joined AFTRA some time afterward and was paid $600 for his final appearance.
  • Contributing columnist for the Cleveland Free Times
  • Wrote a comic book called American Splendor. Various artists drew the artwork for the comic book scripts Harvey writes.
  • Worked as a file clerk to support himself.
  • Politically Harvey has described himself as “a strident leftist”.
  • Lived in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Wrote about jazz and books for various publications.
  • Radio commentator for WKSU-FM in Kent, Ohio.
  • Winner of the 1987 American Book Award for his autobiographical comic book American Splendor.


Title Year Status Character
Hero Tomorrow 2007 Voice of the Squid
All That You Love Will Be Carried Away 2004 Short Hotel Clerk
American Splendor 2003 Real Harvey
Title Year Status Character
Harvey Pekar’s Teo Macero 2015 Documentary short writer
American Splendor 2003 comic book series American Splendor
Title Year Status Character
Bird of Steel! special thanks filming
Title Year Status Character
The Cartoonist: Jeff Smith, BONE and the Changing Face of Comics 2009 Video documentary Himself
The Comic Book Lady 2008 Himself
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations 2007 TV Series documentary Himself
HypaSpace 2006 TV Series documentary Himself
Genuine Nerd 2006 Video documentary Himself
Mondo Thingo 2004 TV Series Himself
I, Curmudgeon 2004 Documentary Himself
Charlie Rose 2003 TV Series Himself – Guest
Festival Pass with Chris Gore 2002 TV Series documentary Himself
Vinyl 2000 Documentary Himself
Late Show with David Letterman 1994 TV Series Himself
Late Night with David Letterman 1986-1993 TV Series Himself
Comic Book Confidential 1988 Documentary Himself
Archive Footage
Title Year Status Character
Sonic Youth: Teenage Riot 1988 Video short Himself (uncredited)


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