Mary Higgins Clark Net Worth: An Inside Look at Successful Writers 

Discover our guide with the inside scoop on Mary Higgins Clark net worth and find out how much success this famous author created.

Mary Higgins Clark, a renowned author of mystery and suspense novels and one of the richest writers to date, was known to captivate her readers with tales of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. Her ability to keep readers on the edge of their seats earned her the title “Queen of Suspense.” Over her illustrious career, Mary was not only celebrated for her storytelling prowess but also for her impressive financial achievements.

At the time of her death in 2020, Mary Higgins Clark had accumulated a net worth of $140 million. This remarkable figure is a testament to her numerous best-selling novels and the dedication she put into her craft. 

Over the years, Clark’s books have sold over 100 million copies, with many of her works being adapted into television films and movies. This widespread success allowed her to carve out an enduring legacy in the literary world, both artistically and financially.

Throughout her life, Mary Higgins Clark demonstrated a relentless commitment to her writing, which translated to substantial commercial success. Her net worth stands as a symbol of her remarkable journey and her enduring influence on the mystery and suspense genre. Check out our round-up of the best Mary Higgins Clark books to discover her impressive works.

Early Life

Mary Higgins Clark net worth
Mary Higgins Clark, a best selling author, has an impressive net worth of $140 million as of 2020

Mary Higgins Clark, born Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins, was born on December 24, 1927, in the Bronx, New York. She started showing interest in writing at a young age, composing poetry when she was just six years old. Clark maintained diaries throughout her life, which she later credited as an inspiration for some of her bestselling novels.

Throughout her early years, Clark continued to develop her writing skills by contributing stories and articles to local newspapers and magazines. She also took various short-term jobs to support her family, including working as a secretary, flight attendant and telephone operator.

In the years to follow, Clark’s dedication to pursuing her writing career finally paid off, with her debut suspense novel, Where Are The Children? becoming a massive success and going through numerous printings. This breakthrough began her illustrious career as a mystery and suspense author.

By the time of her death in 2020, Mary Higgins Clark had amassed an impressive net worth of $140 million. Her novels sold over 100 million copies, and each of her 51 books became a bestseller in the United States and several European countries.

Career Highlights

Mary Higgins Clark, an American author of suspense novels, had an impressive writing career that spanned over four decades. Born on December 24, 1927, she passed away on January 31, 2020, at the age of 92. Throughout her life, she maintained a successful writing career while also raising her five children. Her inspiring approach to life is captured in this one quote:

“Approach your lives as if they were novels, with their own heroes, villains, red herrings, and triumphs”

Mary Higgins Clark

Her writing journey began with poetry at the young age of six. Higgins Clark later transitioned to writing suspense, mystery, and psychological novels. Some of her best-seller novels include Where Are The Children?, A Stranger is Watching, and While My Pretty One Sleeps.

During her career, Mary Higgins Clark earned several prestigious awards. She received the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Crime Writers League. These awards recognized her significant contributions to the world of literature and her success in the suspense and mystery novels genre.

As a prolific author, Higgins Clark had more than 50 novels published, and many of her books were adapted into films and television movies. Her deep understanding of human emotions and her skill in creating compelling stories with strong female protagonists made her work highly popular among readers.

With her immense talent and success in the literary world, Mary Higgins Clark’s net worth reached an estimated $140 million at the time of her passing. Her legacy as the “Queen of Suspense” will continue influencing and inspiring generations of writers and readers.

Notable Works

Where Are The Children?
Where Are The Children? was Mary Higgins Clark debut suspense novel

Mary Higgins Clark, often called the Queen of Suspense, wrote over 50 novels that earned her a place on the best-seller lists for decades. Her most notable works include her debut suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, published in 1975 and has since gone through seventy-five printings.

Another popular novel by Clark is A Stranger Is Watching, published in 1977. This novel tells the story of a young boy who is kidnapped and the race against time for his rescue begins. It showcases Clark’s ability to keep readers on the edge of their seats with her gripping storytelling.

In 1980, Clark published The Cradle Will Fall, a suspense novel that delves into the world of medical ethics. Following the story of an ambitious female assistant prosecutor, the novel deals with themes of moral dilemmas and tense confrontations.

Another one of her well-received works is the 1982 novel A Cry in the Night. The novel follows the life of a young woman who finds herself trapped in a marriage with a dangerous man. The story showcases Clark’s ability to create complex and deep characters while still maintaining the suspense and mystery she is known for. Her talent for crafting suspenseful and engaging stories will undoubtedly remain an inspiration for future generations of writers.

Awards and Achievements

Mary Higgins Clark was a renowned American author known for her suspense and mystery novels. She had an illustrious literary career spanning over four decades. Throughout her career, Mary Higgins Clark received numerous accolades for her skill in crafting suspenseful narratives. 

One of her major achievements was the establishment of the Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award in 2001. This prestigious American literary award was created in her honor as part of the Edgar Awards to celebrate authors who write novels in her suspenseful style.

Mary Higgins Clark’s works were best-sellers throughout her life and she enjoyed great commercial success. Her novels were translated into numerous languages and many were adapted for film and television, further expanding her reach to millions of fans worldwide.

As a testament to her remarkable career, Mary Higgins Clark was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame and received the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, a prestigious French award for the best international crime novel. These accolades, along with her numerous best-selling titles, highlight her talent, dedication and impact as an author in the world of mystery and suspense.

Financial Success

Mary Higgins Clark, a renowned author of mystery and suspense novels, accumulated a substantial net worth throughout her career. At the time of her death in 2020, her net worth was estimated to be around $140 million. Clark’s books were bestsellers in the United States and various European countries, contributing significantly to her financial success.

Her debut suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, was particularly successful and has seen its seventy-fifth printing as of 2015. This continuous demand for her novels is a testament to Clark’s writing skill and has certainly played a part in her impressive net worth.

In addition to her long list of bestsellers, Clark’s popularity as an author earned her the title “Queen of Suspense.” Writers and readers admired her ability to create thrilling stories filled with compelling characters and captivating plots. This reputation bolstered her book sales and made her work readily recognizable to the public.

As a result of her numerous accomplishments in the literary world, Mary Higgins Clark’s financial success reflects the enduring appeal of her novels and her talent as a masterful storyteller. Discover authors like Mary Higgins Clark, who are inspired by her success and writing achievements.

Estimation of Net Worth

Mary Higgins Clark, the widely acclaimed Queen of Suspense, amassed a significant fortune throughout her successful career as a suspense, psychological and mystery writer. At the time of her death in 2020, her net worth was estimated to be around $140 million.

Born in 1927, Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins Clark Conheeney, or simply Mary Higgins Clark, had a writing career spanning more than five decades. Her immense success as an author was crucial in attaining her substantial net worth. Her earnings were undoubtedly significant, with her books selling over 100 million copies worldwide. However, it’s important to note that while these figures provide a solid estimate of Mary Higgins Clark’s net worth, the exact amount may vary slightly due to various factors.

In conclusion, the celebrated author Mary Higgins Clark experienced tremendous success throughout her career, directly impacting her estimated $140 million net worth. Her numerous best-selling novels and loyal readership contributed immensely to this impressive figure, highlighting her lasting impact on the literary world.

Charity and Philanthropy

Mary Higgins Clark, a celebrated mystery and suspense author, had a net worth of $140 million at the time of her death in 2020. Her success and wealth established The Mary Higgins Clark Foundation, an organization dedicated to charitable causes and philanthropy.

The foundation was established in 2000 and is headquartered in Hillsdale, New Jersey. As a private independent foundation, it focuses on philanthropic endeavors. Although specifics about the foundation’s work remain unclear, it is evident that Mary Higgins Clark’s legacy includes her extensive literary accomplishments and her commitment to giving back through her established foundation. This philanthropic endeavor illustrates her dedication to using her influence and resources to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Impact on Popular Culture

Mary Higgins Clark, often called the “Queen of Suspense,” undeniably impacted popular culture through her successful career as an author. Her suspense novels resonated with millions of readers worldwide, selling over 100 million copies in the United States alone. This impressive feat established her as an influential figure in the suspense and mystery genres.

Her stories capture readers’ imaginations, and her success inspired others within her family to pursue careers as writers. Her former daughter-in-law, Mary Jane Clark, and her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark, followed in her footsteps, entering the world of literature and contributing to the ever-growing popular culture surrounding suspense novels.

In addition to her impact on the literary world, Mary Higgins Clark’s popularity extended internationally, with a particularly strong following in France

Her novels have been translated into multiple languages, making her works accessible to readers from all corners of the globe. Beyond her remarkable success as an author, Mary Higgins Clark demonstrated the power of storytelling and the enduring appeal of suspenseful narratives that captivate readers’ minds.


Mary Higgins Clark was an acclaimed author of mystery and suspense novels, earning the title “Queen of Suspense.” At the time of her death in 2020, her net worth was estimated to be around $140 million. She achieved significant success throughout her career, selling over 100 million copies of her books worldwide.

During her life, Clark authored over 50 novels, many of which became best-sellers. Her writing captivated audiences with thrilling plots and compelling characters, maintaining her popularity and relevance for decades.

As a highly-regarded author, Mary Higgins Clark significantly impacted her readers and set a high standard for suspense novelists. The prosperous career she built bolstered her net worth and solidified her status as a legendary suspense writer. Her legacy in the literary world will continue to inspire and entertain readers for years to come.

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