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What is Mark Spitz’s Net Worth?

Mark Spitz is a retired American Olympic champion swimmer who has a net worth of $8 million. Mark Spitz is one of the most decorated and beloved American Olympians of all time. He is a nine-time Olympic champion. He was the most successful competitor at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, winning seven gold medals, each in world-record time. This achievement set a record that lasted for 36 years, until it was surpassed by fellow American Michael Phelps, who won eight golds at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, through Phelps, like Spitz, set seven world records.

Early Life

Spitz was born on February 10, 1950, in Modesto, California, the first of three children born to Lenore Sylvia (Smith) and Arnold Spitz. His family is Jewish; his father’s family was from Hungary and his mother’s, originally surnamed “Sklotkovick,” was from Russia.  When Spitz was two years old, his family moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he swam at Waikiki Beach every day.

At age six, his family returned to Sacramento, California, and he began to compete at his local swim club. At age nine, he was training at Arden Hills Swim Club in Sacramento with swimming coach Sherm Chavoor, who mentored six other Olympic medal winners. At only 10, Spitz held one world age-group record and 17 national records.

When Spitz was 14, his family moved to Santa Clara where he joined the Santa Clara Swim Club and was trained by coach George F. Haines. From 1964 to 1968, Mark trained with Haines at SCSC and Santa Clara High School. During his four years there, Mark held national high school records in every stroke and in every distance.

In 1966 at age 16, he won the 100-meter butterfly at the AAU national championships, the first of his 24 total AAU titles. The following year, Spitz emerged on the world swimming stage when he set his first world record at a small California meet with a time of 4:10.60 in the 400-meter freestyle.

Swimming Career

Spitz swam in his first international competition at the 1965 Maccabiah Games in Israel.  At age 15 and weighing 130 pounds, he won four gold medals in Tel Aviv—the 400 m freestyle, the 1,500 freestyle, the 400 m individual medley, and the 800 m freestyle relay, and was named the most outstanding athlete of the Games. He returned to Israel in 1969 following the Mexico Olympics to again compete, at the 1969 Maccabiah Games. This time, he won six gold medals. He was again named outstanding athlete of the Games. In 1985, Spitz lit the torch to open the 1985 Maccabiah Games. In 2005, he was a member of the U.S. delegation at the 2005 Maccabiah Games.

He won five gold medals at the 1967 Pan American Games, setting a record that lasted until 2007 when Brazilian swimmer, Thiago Pereira, won six golds at the XV Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Spitz was already the holder of ten world records, and he brashly predicted that he would win six gold medals at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. However, he won only two team golds: the 4×100-meter freestyle relay in 3:31.70, and the 4×200-meter freestyle relay in 7:52.33.

Spitz was disappointed in his 1968 Olympic performance. In January 1969, he decided to attend Indiana University to train with legendary Indiana Hoosiers swimming coach Doc Counsilman, who was also his Olympic coach in Mexico City. He called choosing Indiana and Counsilman “the biggest decision of my life (and) the best.” While at Indiana, Spitz won eight individual NCAA titles. In 1971, he won the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. Spitz also set a number of world records during the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials held in Chicago’s Portage Park in 1972. He was nicknamed “Mark the Shark” by his teammates.

At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Spitz was back to repeat his quest for the six gold medals. He did even better, winning seven Olympic gold medals. Furthermore, Spitz set a new world record in each of the seven events – 100-meter freestyle (51.22), 200-meter freestyle (1:52.78), 100-meter butterfly (54.27), 200-meter butterfly (2:00.70), 4×100-meter freestyle relay (3:26.42), 4×200-meter freestyle relay (7:35.78), and 4×100-meter medley relay (3:48.16).

Spitz is one of five Olympians to win nine or more career gold medals. Spitz’s record of seven gold medals in a single Olympics was not surpassed until Phelps broke the record at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Mike McGregor/Getty Images

Famous Mustache

In an era when other swimmers, male and female, were shaving body hair, he swam with a mustache. When asked why he initially grew one he stated “I grew the mustache because a coach in college said I couldn’t grow one.” Spitz said he originally grew the mustache as a form of rebellion against the clean-cut look imposed on him in college. “It took a long time to grow,” he said.  It took four months to grow, but Spitz was proud of it, he decided the mustache was a “good-luck piece”

Retirement

Following the Munich Olympics, Spitz retired from competition even though he was only 22 years old. Spitz has pursued various entrepreneurial projects with former NBA player Ricky Barry. He travels the world, delivering about 25 lectures a year. His biography, “The Extraordinary Life of An Olympic Champion” by Richard J. Foster, was released in July 2008. Per his official website, Spitz is self-employed as a corporate spokesperson and motivational speaker. He is also reportedly a stockbroker. According to one interview, “Spitz became a stockbroker in 2002 and has since moved into private equity. He is now also dabbling in the ‘water business’, as he calls it, and is in negotiations to build a water-bottling facility on aquifer-rich land that he and a business partner own.

Personal Life

When Spitz returned from the Olympics, he began dating Suzy Weiner, a UCLA theater student and part-time model, who also was the daughter of one of his father’s business acquaintances. Less than a year after the Munich Olympics, they were married on May 6, 1973. They have two sons, Matthew (born October 1981) and Justin (born September 1991). Justin was a member of the Stanford swim team. Spitz and his wife reside in Los Angeles, California.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.



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