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Not every professional athlete is rich. In fact, the median pay for athletes and sports competitors in 2021 was $77,300, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But some athletes are making bank. In fact, the highest paid athletes of all time can count their earnings in the billions.
Sports business publication Sportico recently pulled together a list of the 50 highest paid athletes. (If you are looking for a woman, you won’t find her here. The only female to make the top 50 was tennis legend Serena Williams, who landed in the No. 38 spot with inflation-adjusted earnings of $600 million.)
Following are the top Americans to make the cut among the highest paid athletes of all time.
10. Mike Tyson
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This athlete’s lifetime earnings: $875 million (adjusted for inflation)
The year this athlete retired: 2005
“Iron Mike” Tyson had a heavyweight boxing career that spanned 20 years. During that time, he won 50 bouts and landed 44 knockouts. He only lost six times.
However, Tyson may be as infamous for his behavior outside the ring as for his wins in it. His legal history is checkered with crimes, and despite having earned so much, Tyson filed for bankruptcy in 2003.
9. Shaquille O’Neal
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