Merle Ronald Haggard Net WorthReal Name: Merle Ronald Haggard
Date of Birth: 04/06/1937
Place of Birth: Oildale, California
2017 Net Worth: $40 Million
Profession: Singer, songwriter, musician, guitarist
Merle Haggard, Merle, The Hag, The Outlaw Biography
Merle Ronald Haggard, was born in Oildale, California in April of 1937. His parents had moved there from Oklahoma during the Great Depression. Haggard was given a guitar by his older brother when he was 12. He taught himself to play by listening to records from Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell. Haggard’s father died when he was 8, which forced his mother to work full-time to support the family. Haggard got into trouble with the law, spent time in juvenile detention facilities, and eventually ran away from home with his friend, Bob Teague. The pair rode railway cars and took a variety of jobs across Texas and California, including driving a truck, pitching hay, and as a short order cook.
His first musical work was with his friend Teague at a bar in Modesto, California, where they were paid $5 a night and all the beer they could drink. Haggard settled in Bakersfield, California, and after Frizzell heard him singing backstage at a concert, he insisted that the teen would be his opening act. Haggard decided then and there to make music his life’s ambition.
Financially strapped, Haggard attempted to rob a house in town, was caught, and went to San Quentin, where he heard Johnny Cash sing. This, combined with a series of hard times in jail, convinced Haggard to get his high school diploma in jail, then dedicate himself to music once again.
In the early 1960’s, a new sound was developing in country music called The Bakersfield Sound, by artists such as Buck Owens. Haggard also began using this style and recorded his first hit record “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive” in 1966. After this, hit songs just seemed to flow from Haggard like the Kern River. Hits such as “Mama Tried”, “The Fightin’ Side of Me”, and “Okie From Muskogee”.
Haggard has received no fewer than 20 awards from the Academy of Country Music, 6 from the Country Music Association, and 3 Grammy awards. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994.
Haggard was married 5 times and has 6 children. He suffered with pneumonia in December of 2015 and it was thought that he recovered, but it returned in March of 2016. Haggard passed away at his home in Palo Cedro, California, on his 79th birthday, due to complications from double pneumonia. He had a net worth of $40 million at the time of his death and has left country music without their “outlaw”.