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Susan Lynn "Suze" Orman (/ˈszi/ SOO-zee; born June 5, 1951) is an American author, financial advisor, motivational speaker, and television host. She earned a degree in social work, and then worked as a waitress at the Buttercup Bakery in Berkeley for seven years making $400 a month till the age of 29. In 1980 she was hired as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch. In 1983, she became a vice president of retail customer investments at Prudential Bache Securities. In 1987, she founded the Suze Orman Financial Group. In 2002, her program The Suze Orman Show began airing on CNBC not only in the United States but in 18 countries thoughtout the world and for 13 years before Suze ended it, it was one of their top rated shows. Suze has written Nine consecutive New York Times Bestsellers on the topic of personal finance. Suze Orman was named twice by Time Magazine to its Time 100 list which names the most influential people in the world Suze is a two time Emmy award winner, and has garnered an unprecedented 8 Gracie awards. Named by Forbes as one of the most powerful women, Suze received two Honorary PHDs by Bentley College and The University of Illinois. Suze has written co produced and hosted 8 PBS specials that raised over $200,000,000 for Public Television.

Suze Orman
Orman at the TIME 100 Gala, May 4, 2010.
Susan Lynn Orman

(1951-06-05) June 5, 1951 (age 67)
ResidenceFlorida (primary), New York City, and San Francisco[1]
EducationBachelor of Arts in Social Work
Alma materUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (1976)
Known forThe Suze Orman Show
Net worth$50 million (2019)
Kathy Travis (m. 2010)
Suze Orman.png
Orman on the cover of Ms. magazine in 2008

Suze is undoubtedly the most recognized personal finance expert in the world having been spoofed on Saturday Night Live multiple times, was featured as one of the greatest teachers of all time on The Simpson’s, appeared on The Oprah Winfrey and Larry King Show over 30 times and is considered one of the top motivational speakers in the world today.


Early life and educationEdit

Orman was born on the South Side of Chicago on June 5, 1951, to Jewish parents of Russian and Romanian origin, Ann and Morry Orman.[2][3] Her mother worked as a secretary for a local rabbi, while her immigrant father from Kiev[4] worked in a chicken factory[5][6][7] and managed Morry's Deli[8] in Hyde Park.[9][10][11]

She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and received a B.A. in social work in 1976.[12] In 2009, Orman received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.[12]


After finishing school, Orman moved to Berkeley, California, where she worked as a waitress. In 1980, she borrowed $52,000 from friends and wellwishers to open a restaurant.[13][14][15][16]

Still an investment novice, she invested that money through a representative at Merrill Lynch, who promptly lost her entire investment in trading options. Later, Orman trained as an account executive for Merrill Lynch, where she learned that the type of investment her broker had put her in was not suitable for her needs, as option trading is considered a high-risk but high-reward investment suitable only for high net worth individuals. It was explained to her that because her broker was the highest producing representative in the office, his actions went unchecked. After completing her training with Merrill Lynch, she remained at the firm until 1983, when she left to become a vice president of investments at Prudential Bache Securities.

In 1987, Orman resigned from Prudential and founded the Suze Orman Financial Group, in Emeryville, California.[17][18] While there, she published a booklet, The Facts on Single Premium Whole Life, which compared single-premium whole life, universal life, and single-premium deferred annuities; she distributed copies of the booklet for free to anyone who requested one.[19] She was director of the firm until 1997.[15]

Orman published ten books between 1995-2011: “You’ve Earned It Don’t Lose It” 1995 'The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom (1997), , and The Courage to be Rich (1999). The Road to Wealth (2001) and The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life (2003). “The Money Book for the Young Fabulous and Broke (2005)” “Women & Money” (2007) The 2009 Action Plan” (2009) “The Money Class” (2011)

The Suze Orman Show began airing on CNBC in 2002.[citation needed] In February 2008, Orman gave away copies of her book Women and Money for free following an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, generating almost two million downloads.[20] Orman has been featured on the Food Network's Paula's Party.[citation needed] In January 2011, Orman appeared on Oprah's Allstars. In January 2012, Orman's six-episode TV series America's Money Class with Suze Orman premiered on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.[21]

Orman wrote a financial advice column for O, The Oprah Magazine.[22] She is the former author of Yahoo!'s "Money Matters" and writes for the Costco Connection Magazine. She contributed to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Lowes MoneyWorks, and Your Business at Home Magazine.[23][24]

Orman's final episode of The Suze Orman Show aired on March 28, 2015, so Orman could develop a new series, Suze Orman's Money Wars, for Warner Bros. Telepictures Productions.[25] Orman hoped the show would premiere in the fall of 2016.[26]

Suze Orman "Approved" prepaid debit cardEdit

In 2012, Orman introduced a prepaid debit card, backed by Bancorp Bank, aimed at budget-challenged consumers. In personal appearances, she claimed that the goal of the card would be to eventually contribute to improving the cardholder's FICO score. TransUnion had agreed to "examine data from [the] cards". The website for the debit card claimed, "I am proud to say that the Approved card is the first prepaid card in history to share information with TransUnion, a major credit bureau . Suzes goal was to try to change the scoring method of credit scores to include those who only used debit cards. Suze personally lost over $4,000,000 trying to help the unbanked. According to Suze she closed the program down for two reasons - “ first the fraud on the card by scammers was about $70,000 a month which was way too costly” and second “it was obvious the system had more to gain by keeping people-in poverty rather than helping to lift them out. The program was quietly ended in 2014.[27]

Personal lifeEdit

In February 2007, Orman stated that she is a lesbian.[28][29][30] Orman has been married to Kathy Travis since 2010.[31]

In 2008, Orman donated money to the Democratic Party.[32][33] In an interview with Larry King, she said that she favors the policies of the Democratic Party and Barack Obama, especially regarding people in same-sex relationships.[34]



  • You've Earned It, Don't Lose It: Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make When You Retire (with Linda Mead) (1995)[35]
  • The Nine Steps To Financial Freedom (1997)[36]
  • The Courage to Be Rich (1999)
  • The Road to Wealth (2001)
  • The Laws of Money, the Lessons of Life... (2003)
  • The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke (2005)
  • Women and Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny (2007)
  • Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan (2009)
  • Suze Orman's 2010 Action Plan (March 2010)
  • The Money Class: Learn to Create Your New American Dream (March 2011)

Women & Money Be Smart Strong and Secure (Sept 2018)


Orman is also creator of a number of non-book products, primarily CD-ROM-based services that offer education and various financial services usually in conjunction with her books and writings.

  • Suze Ormans FICO Kit – First offered in 2002 in conjunction with Fair Isaac Corporation.
  • Suze Orman's Will & Trust Kit – Introduced in 2005 with her personal trust attorney.
  • Suze Orman's Insurance Kit – Introduced in 2007.
  • Suze Orman's Protection Portfolio – First introduced in 2002, in third version.
  • Suze Orman's Identity Theft Kit – First offered in 2008, in conjunction with TrustedID.
  • Suze Orman's Save Yourself Retirement Program – Introduced September 2009, in conjunction with TD Ameritrade.
  • Suze Orman's Search Scammer

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Q&A with personal finance guru Suze Orman". San Francisco Chronicle. 25 October 2008.
  2. ^ Strauss, Elissa (October 17, 2007). "Suze Orman's Spiritual Side". The Jewish Daily Forward. The Forward Association, Inc.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Millennial Money Moves". The Suze Orman Show. February 7, 2015.
  5. ^ Dominus, Susan (2009-05-17). "Suze Orman Is Having a Moment". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "If you knew Suze…". Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine. 1998.
  7. ^ "News - Suze Orman". The Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  8. ^ Spiselman, Anne. "Morry's Deli". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2016-09-05. in the mid-1970s—when you might have found college student Suze Orman working behind the counter for her dad, the original owner...
  9. ^ Cantor, Danielle. "Successful Women: Suze Orman". Jewish Woman. Jewish Women International (Fall 2004). Archived from the original on 2008-09-23. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
  10. ^ Bloom, Nate (2004-06-11). "Celebrity Jews: Briefly noted". San Francisco Jewish Community Publications Inc. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
  11. ^ Iwata, Edward (1999-05-04). "Personal finance guru Suze Orman is keepin' it real despite her astounding success". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
  12. ^ a b Post to Wall. "Suze Orman receives honorary degree, addresses University graduates". Retrieved 2012-06-16.
  13. ^ "History from Orman's website". Archived from the original on 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
  14. ^ Women & money: owning the power to control your destiny. Random House, Inc. 2007. pp. 27–28. ISBN 0-385-51931-1.
  15. ^ a b Andriani, Lynn (2003-02-24). "The Dollars and Sense of Suze Orman". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
  16. ^ Orman, Suze (2008-06-05). Women and Money (TV-program). PBS pledge programming: PBS. Archived from the original on 2008-06-15.
  17. ^ "How Emeryville became a boom town". USA Today. June 13, 1988. p. 8B.
  18. ^ Goldinger, Jay (May 9, 1989). "Catastrophic Coverage Raises Some Questions". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans, Louisiana. p. E4.
  19. ^ Goldinger, Jay (September 19, 1989). "Closed-end Funds Offer Good Value for the Investor". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans, Louisiana. p. D3.
  20. ^ Dominus, Susan (2009-05-17). "Suze Orman Is Having a Moment". The New York Times.
  21. ^ "America's Money Class with Suze Orman",, 2012-01-09.
  22. ^ Orman, Suze (January 6, 2010) Easy Money,; accessed January 17, 2013.
  23. ^ Orman, Suze. Moving Past Fear and Toward Success" Archived 2008-01-21 at the Wayback Machine, Your Business at Home Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2008, pg. 36.
  24. ^ "Internationally Acclaimed Personal Finance Expert; Host of CNBC The Suze Orman Show". Archived from the original on 2009-02-02.
  25. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (November 25, 2014). "Suze Orman to Exit CNBC for 'Money Wars' Series with Telepictures". Variety. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  26. ^ Stuever, Hank; Stuever, Hank (2015-03-27). "So long, 'Suze Orman Show,' TV's only sane space in a money-crazed culture". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  27. ^ Suze Orman's prepaid debit cards are quietly discontinued New York Times 2014/06/17
  28. ^ Lo, Malinda. "Suze Orman Comes Out" Archived 2007-10-01 at the Wayback Machine,, 2007-02-25.
  29. ^ "Money maven Suze Orman comes out" Archived 2007-10-24 at the Wayback Machine, The Advocate, 2007-02-23.
  30. ^ "Your New Trump". Suze Orman Show. 2011-01-22.
  31. ^ Moral, Cheche V. (February 26, 2012). "Helping people who can take care of themselves is not helping the Philippines". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  32. ^ "NEWSMEAT ▷ Suze Orman's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". Archived from the original on 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
  33. ^ Profile Archived 2011-06-22 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed May 19, 2015.
  34. ^ "Larry King Live" (transcript). CNN. 2008-01-02.
  35. ^ Rowe, Jeff (January 23, 1995). "New on the Bookshelf". The Orange County Register. Orange County, California. p. D4.
  36. ^ "Financial Writer Wants to Let Freedom Ring". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans, Louisiana. April 18, 1997. p. E3. Retrieved May 19, 2015.

External linksEdit