Robert Durst, the scion of a millionaire family who built their fortune in real estate, had an exciting life, to say the least. He was acquitted of one murder and convicted of another over the years, presumably implicated in his wife’s disappearance.
Robert had been at odds with his family since the 1990s. ‘20/20: The Devil You Know,’ an ABC News special, digs into Robert’s complicated life and how it ended in prison. We’ve got you covered if you’re curious about how the millionaire came to be so wealthy.
What Was Robert Durst’s Source of Income?
Joseph Durst, Robert’s grandpa, was an Austrian-Jewish immigrant who arrived in the United States in 1902. In 1915, he purchased a skyscraper in Manhattan, New York, and in 1927, he created the Durst Organization.
Seymour, Joseph’s son, joined the firm in 1940 and took over when Joseph died in 1974. Seymour then focused on real estate acquisition and the construction of various towers throughout the city.
The construction and growth that happened over the next few years reinforced the Durst family’s reputation as one of the country’s leading real estate developers. Robert, the oldest of Seymour’s four children, was first viewed as the heir to Seymour’s throne.
He, on the other hand, was uninterested in the family business. Robert started a health food store in Vermont named All Good Things in the 1970s, but it closed after only a few years. He then returned to New York City.
Robert also studied nursing and attempted to become a doctor. However, by the 1980s, his unpredictable behaviour had caused the family to stop looking to him to take over the firm. Douglas, Robert’s younger brother, was chosen by Seymour in 1994 to take the family firm into a new era.
Robert’s relationship with his family deteriorated quickly after that. Robert wanted to remove the trustees so he could earn a larger piece of the estate, which led to a legal dispute between him and the family. He was receiving around $2 million per year from the family at the time.
He made a few real estate investments while not being a part of the family business. Robert paid $6.1 million for two apartments in New York City in 2011, then sold them for more than $4 million three years later.
His arrest in 2015 resulted in a murder conviction for the murder of his acquaintance Susan Berman. Robert died of a heart arrest on January 10, 2022, at the age of 78. His net worth was estimated to be $100 million at the time of his imprisonment.
The Net Worth of Robert Durst at the Time of His Death
The Durst family paid $65 million for Robert’s share in 2006. However, because it is unknown how much he had to pay in legal fees and other expenses, Robert’s net worth at the time of his death could not have exceeded $65 million.