What was Norton Juster's net worth? Beloved author of children's book 'The Phantom Tollbooth' dies at 91

Juster was a versatile genius — an academic, architect and Navy veteran aside from being a children's author

                            What was Norton Juster's net worth? Beloved author of children's book 'The Phantom Tollbooth' dies at 91
Norton Juster (Getty Images)

American architect Norton Juster — better recognized as the author of much-loved children's books like 'The Phantom Tollbooth' and 'The Dot and the Line' — passed away on March 8, 2021. He was 91 years old at the time of his death.

On Tuesday, fellow children's author and illustrator Mo Willems announced the tragic news of Juster's death on Twitter, adding that he passed peacefully. The cause of his death is yet to be announced. Juster had an illustrious career as a writer spanning six decades during which he amassed a considerable fortune. Let us find out more about Norton Juster's assets, net worth, and personal life.


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An academic, architect, Navy veteran, and writer

Norton Juster was born in New York City on June 2, 1929, to Jewish migrant parents. Architecture was the key profession that ran in his family as his Romanian-Jewish father Samuel Juster was an architect as well as his brother Howard Juster. 

Following the footsteps of his father and brother, Juster pursued a degree in architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He later spent another year in Liverpool, England on a Fulbright Scholarship working on urban planning. 

In 1954, Juster enlisted in the United States Navy in the Civil Engineer Corps division where he rose to the high rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. It was during a Navy tour that he first tried his hands on writing a children's story, simply out of boredom. His hobby earned him the wrath of his commanding officer but Juster still managed to finish an unpublished satirical fairy tale called 'The Passing of Irving'.

After being posted in Brooklyn Navy Yard, Juster engaged in shenanigans like creating a non-existent military publication or a society called 'Garibaldi Society' — actions which he has acknowledged as measures to combat boredom. Around this time, he met Jules Feiffer, who later illustrated his novel 'The Phantom Tollbooth'. 

Norton Juster (Twitter/Norton Juster)

After being discharged from the Navy following three years of service, Juster started working as an architect in New York. Later he moved to Massachusetts where he opened his own architectural firm. Later, he even taught architecture and planning at Pratt Institute in New York and was Professor of Design at Hampshire College in Amherst from 1970 to 1992. 

Meanwhile, he was simultaneously pursuing writing as a hobby, and his first book 'The Phantom Tollbooth' was published in 1961. Hailed as a classic by readers to date, the book won the George C. Stone Centre for Children's Books Award. The story was also adapted for the screen by MGM in 1969 and later made into a musical. Another book by Juster — 'The Dot and the Line' — was made into an Academy-Award-winning film by famous animator Chuck Jones. Some of his other notable books include 'Alberic the Wise', 'Otter Nonsense', 'As: A Surfeit of Similes', 'The Hello Goodbye Window', 'Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie' and 'The Odious Ogre'. 

The Phantom Tollbooth (Goodreads)

What is Norton Juster's net worth?

Juster's net worth in 2021 has been estimated to be within the range of $1.5 million to $5.5 million by Idolcelebs. However, Networthroll has estimated his latest net worth in 2021 at a whopping $29.5 million. 

He has amassed his fortune primarily from his bestseller books, of which many were adapted on screen and stage. Before his retirement from architecture, Juster also earned a considerable income from his architectural venture. In fact, a house in Massachusetts which he designed back in 1975 was listed in 2019 for a massive sum of $429,000, reported Dwell.

Juster lived in Western Massachusetts with his wife Jeanne Juster who passed away in 2018 from pancreatic cancer. The couple were parents to daughter Emily Juster and grandparents to Tori Juster.

Author Norton Juster at his home (Getty Images)


The news shook social media and many fans took to Twitter to mourn the passing of the author. "The great Norton Juster has died at 91 years young. I grew up loving the man's work. @JohnHMaher and I loved it (and Chuck Jones's adaptation) so much that we named our animation blog @thedotandline after one of his best books/shorts. RIP, king. You were beloved," one tweet read and another said, "I read this book probably more times than I've read any other book in my home library. You will be missed Norton Juster."

NPR journalist Michele Norris wrote, "So very sad to hear about the death of Norton Juster. Interviewed him a few times. Just loved spending time with him. So playful and generous. RIP." Mo Willems Pigen said, "My lunch partner, Norton Juster, ran out of stories & passed peacefully last night. Best known for THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH + THE DOT & THE LINE, Norton’s greatest work was himself: a tapestry of delightful tales. Miss him. 'To the vector goes the spoils'."