Longtime radio personality Garrison Keillor was fired from Minnesota Public Radio for alleged “improper behavior.” Keillor was the host of A Prairie Home Companion on Minnesota Public Radio from 1974 to 2016. The announcement of his firing comes only one day after The Washington Post published a new op-ed from Keillor, titled: “Al Franken should resign? That’s absurd.”
Besides his former role on public radio, Keillor was very prolific when it comes writing, as he released many novels and collections of poetry and short stories. He has also received many awards and distinctions, including an induction into the 1994 National Radio Hall of Fame. His radio show, A Prairie Home Companion won a 1980 Peabody Award. He also won a Grammy Award for his voice-recording of Lake Wobegon Days.
But after over thirty years on the radio and in books, how much money has Keillor collected over the years?
Garrison Keillor Net Worth as of 2018: $5 Million
Keillor has a total of $5 million worth of assets while pulling in a yearly average salary of $176,000. Besides his work on the radio and with writing, Keillor has also lent his voice to a variety of projects. He was a voice actor for Honda’s UK “the Power of Dreams” Campaign. He also voiced Walt Whitman a 1990 Civil War mini-series.
Let’s take a look at Keillor’s road to success leading to his current state of controversy…
1969 – 2007
Garrison Keillor started off his career as a radio personality on Minnesota Educational Radio, which later transformed into Minnesota Public Radio. His weekday program A Prairie Home Entertainment quickly gained traction and stood out for the show’s eclectic music choice. At the same, Garrison was also submitting his short fiction to The New Yorker who published his first story “Local Family Keeps Son Happy” in September 1970.
Keillor debuted A Prairie Home Companion in 1974, known for its music and humor. He retired from the program after the 2015-2016 season, saying that “I have a lot of other things that I want to do. I mean, nobody retired anymore. Writers never retire. But this is my last season. This tour this summer is the farewell tour.”
He was also a well-received writer who released many notable works of fiction, including Leaving Home, We Are Still Home, Lake Wobegon Days, and many more.
Slate Magazine writer Sam Anderson called Keillor “very clearly a genius. His range and stamina alone are incredible—after 30 years, he rarely repeats himself—and he has the genuine wisdom of a Cosby or Mark Twain.” However, his “willful simplicity is annoying because, after a while, it starts to feel prescriptive. Being a responsible adult doesn’t necessarily mean speaking slowly about tomatoes.”
2007 – Present
In 2007, Keillor won the John Steinbeck Award for capturing “the spirit of Steinbeck’s empathy, commitment to democratic values, and belief in the dignity of the common man.”
The famed radio personality announced on Wednesday that he had been fired from his job at Minnesota Public Radio for inappropriate behavior, but didn’t get into the details as to the nature of the accusations.
Keillor just said that he was fired for “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard,” and “It’s some sort of poetic irony to be knocked off the air by a story, having told so many of them myself, but I’m 75 and don’t have any interest in arguing about this. And I cannot in conscience bring danger to a great organization I’ve worked hard for since 1969.”
He apologized for “all the poets whose work I won’t be reading on the radio and sorry for the people who will lose work on account of this.”
Later on Wednesday, Keillor revealed his side to the story of the recent inappropriate behavior controversy. He sent an e-mail to The Star Tribune of Minnesota describing his side to the story on what led to his termination.
“I put my hand on a woman’s bare back,” he wrote. “I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it.”
A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor is in negotiation with Minnesota Public Radio after they cut ties with him over allegations of inappropriate behavior.