With his smash-hit NBC TV series Law & Order, which ran for 20 seasons, Dick Wolf is one of the most successful television producers of all time. His shows have defined the police procedural drama genre. Let’s take a closer look at this small-screen legend’s life and prolific career.

Dick Wolf’s Net Worth

According to various reports, Dick Wolf’s net worth is estimated to be around $350 million as of 2023. The majority of his wealth comes from his long-running Law & Order franchise. He has produced over 450 hours of the hit show and earned millions per episode in royalties. Wolf also makes money from his other popular series like Chicago Fire and FBI.  

With a stacked portfolio of highly-rated shows, Wolf continues to build his fortune. Given his Midas touch, his net worth will likely grow substantially in the coming years.

Dick Wolf Early Life 

Richard Anthony Wolf was born in New York City on December 20, 1946. His mother, Marie Gaffney, was a homemaker, and his father, George Wolf, worked in advertising. He grew up with a younger brother named Dan.

Wolf attended Saint David’s School and The Gunnery Prep school. He went to Phillips Academy and graduated in 1964. Subsequently, he attended the University of Pennsylvania and earned a bachelor’s degree in art history in 1968.  

Wolf wrote for the 34th Street Magazine – a weekly arts publication during college. This early experience sparked his interest in writing.  

After graduation, he briefly served in the military. But realizing it wasn’t his true calling, he soon returned home to pursue a television career.

 Dick Wolf ear;y life
Credits – Google

Dick Wolf Career

Wolf’s career began in the 1970s as a promo writer for NBC at WNBC-TV. He wrote movie trailers and advertisements for NBC productions and specials. 

In 1976, eager to break into television, Wolf moved to Los Angeles. His first job was as a staff writer on the acclaimed police drama Hill Street Blues (1981–1987). 

Subsequently, he wrote for other popular series like Miami Vice (1984–1989) and Midnight Caller (1988–1991). During this time, he honed his skills at depicting gritty, realistic tales about law enforcement.


The Big Break – Law & Order Franchise

The 1990s proved to be Wolf’s professional ascent’s most significant turning point. He launched his magnum opus–the first show in the long-running Law & Order franchise–in 1990. 

The legal crime drama was an instant critical and commercial success. What set it apart was its signature structure. Each episode followed the police investigation of a gruesome crime and its prosecution in court.

Over 20 seasons, the multi-award-winning series became a national sensation, attracting a loyal viewership. Such was its popularity that it spawned several successful spinoffs.  

Wolf’s first Law & Order spin-off, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, was launched in 1999. The gripping drama about NYPD investigators who solve sexually-based crimes and child abuse is currently still on air after 24 seasons.

Next came Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001-2011)  followed by other sequels and prequels like Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005-2006), Law & Order: LA (2010-2011), Law & Order: True Crime (2017-2018) and Law & Order: Organized Crime (2021-present).

 Dick Wolf big break
Credits – Google

Expanding his TV Empire 

While still rolling out new Law & Order shows, Wolf diversified into other genres in the 2000s. 

He unleashed the first installment of his Chicago series–firefighter drama Chicago Fire–in 2012. Centered on the professional and personal lives of Chicago firefighters, rescue squads, and paramedics, the show became wildly popular. This paved the way for other Chicago-themed spinoffs like Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med.

Jumping into yet another arena, Wolf recently created the FBI drama series (2018–present). A fictional take on high-profile cases handled by the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, this fast-paced show has also struck a chord with viewers.

Wolf’s projects outside the crime/legal domains, like the short-lived reality show Arrest & Trial (2000-2001) and thriller Twin Towers (2003), also hit the right spots.

With 11 shows currently on air, the enduring 76-year-old producer shows no signs of slowing down. All his programs consistently rank among the highest-rated in their genres. They have netted numerous accolades, including the prestigious Emmy Awards.

Dick Wolf’s Personal Life

Wolf keeps his private life away from the limelight. He married Susan Scranton in 1970, and they divorced ten years later in 1980.

He subsequently married Christine Marburg in 1983. The couple welcomed two sons together–Peter in 1987 and Ethan in 1990. Marburg and Wolf separated after 25 years of marriage in 2008.

Wolf then married Noelle Lippman in 2011. The two filed for divorce in late 2022. Lippman had a son named Rex from a previous marriage whom Wolf raised.

Apart from his marriages, not much is publicly known about Wolf’s interpersonal relationships or interests outside of writing/filmmaking.

Birth Date December 20, 1946
NameRichard Anthony Wolf
Profession Television writer, director, executive producer, creator.
FatherGeorge Wolf
MotherMarie G.
Height1.93 m
BirthplaceNew York CityNew YorkUnited States
Credits – Google

Dick Wolf Wife 

As mentioned above, Wolf has been married four times so far. His wives, in chronological order, are:

  1. Susan Scranton (1970 – 1980)
  2. Christine Marburg (1983 – 2008)  
  3. Noelle Lippman (2011 – 2022)

His second wife, Christine Marburg, was an architect by profession. She and Wolf were married for over two decades and had two children together.  

His most recent wife was Noelle Lippman, founder of a children’s events company, Mackie and Moo. Her son from an earlier marriage was also a part of Wolf’s family.

 Dick Wolf wife
Credits – Google

Dick Wolf Shows

With over 60 production credits, Wolf has developed and brought some of TV’s most memorable shows to the screen. Here are some of his biggest hits:

  • Law & Order (1990 – 2010)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–present)
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001-2011)
  • FBI (2018–present)
  • Chicago Fire (2012–present) 
  • Chicago P.D. (2014–present)
  • Chicago Med (2015–present)
  • New York Undercover (1994–1999)
  • Arrest & Trial (2000–2001)
  • Deadline (2000–2001)
  • Twin Towers (2003)
  • Dragnet (2003–2004)

Several of his shows, like the multiple Law & Order and Chicago installments, have also garnered their spin-off series under Wolf’s supervision.

With his keen grasp of audiences’ tastes, Wolf has repeatedly churned out engaging shows across genres. Even after over 30 years in the business, he remains a formidable force in the TV world.

Unknown Facts About Dick Wolf

  • Wolf began his career in television advertising sales after college. His first job was writing ad copy promoting NBC shows.
  • He originally wanted to create a medical drama, but NBC asked him to write a police procedural instead, leading him to devise Law & Order.
  • The famous “clang” sound in Law & Order that goes off during the opening credits is made by a fire hall bell, not a judge’s gavel, as many assume.
  • Wolf has appeared in small cameos across his shows, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and FBI.
  • An avid sketch artist, he fully storyboards every scene before filming episodes. Wolf has entire notebooks filled with hand-drawn storyboard art.
  • In 2007, Queen Elizabeth II appointed him an honorary Officer of the British Empire in recognition of his services to film and television.
  • He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015.

The Conclusion

From advertising copywriter to successful showrunner with an unmatched tally of hit shows, Dick Wolf’s rise has been phenomenal. He masterfully turned the standard procedural drama into a pop culture mainstay with Law & Order. And even today, he continues his winning streak with both old and new programs. With his compelling writing and production values, Wolf looks set to keep audiences hooked for a long time.


What is Dick Wolf’s Net Worth?

As per reports, prolific television producer Dick Wolf’s net worth is estimated to be around $350 million as of 2023. The Law & Order franchise creator has accumulated his wealth from executive producing many popular police procedurals and crime dramas over the last 30+ years.

Who is Dick Wolf’s spouse?

Wolf has been married four times – Susan Scranton (1970–1980), Christine Marburg (1983–2008), and Noelle Lippman (2011–2022), and currently he is believed to be single after separating from Lippman.

What is Dick Wolf’s age?  

As of 2023, producer Dick Wolf is 76 years old. He was born on December 20, 1946, in New York City.

How many shows does Dick Wolf produce?

With over 60 shows to his credit, Dick Wolf has executive produced some of television’s most acclaimed series. He has around 11 shows on air under his Wolf Entertainment banner, including multiple shows in the Chicago, FBI, and Law & Order franchises.

Who is Dick Wolf’s wife?

Dick Wolf’s most recent wife was Noelle Lippman, founder of a children’s events planning company. The two filed for divorce in 2022 after over a decade of marriage.

What are the best Dick Wolf movies?

While renowned for his TV work, Dick Wolf has also produced some popular movies like Law & Order: The Movie (2022), Exposed (2016), Twin Towers (2003), and Deadline (2001).

Is Dick Wolf still alive?

Yes, producer Dick Wolf is alive and well. The 76-year-old award-winning creator is still actively involved in writing and executive producing his current slate of hit primetime shows.

What is Dick Wolf’s height?  

Dick Wolf’s height is 6 feet 1 inch or approximately 185 cm.