Mario Lemieux Net Worth 2024, Biography, Age, Height

By Alice Moreno

Mario Lemieux, a former Canadian ice hockey player, is regarded as one of the greatest in the sport due to his mix of size, strength, athleticism, and creativity. Known as Le Magnifique, Mr. 66, Super Mario, and The Greatest One, he played primarily for the Pittsburgh Penguins, spanning 17 seasons between 1984 and 2005.

In the Pittsburgh Penguins, he played as a center and shot right. His achievements in the games were highlighted by his speed and skill, overcoming defencemen with fakes and dekes.

Mario Lemieux also became a significant figure off the ice. He assumed ownership of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1999. His net worth is $200 million, with endorsements from brands like Nike and an annual salary of $13 million.

He is married to Nathalie Asselin and is a father to four children. Despite his many nicknames and prolific career, his legacy is not just about his contribution to the game but also his influence in professional ice hockey management.

Quick Facts About Mario Lemieux

NameMario Lemieux
NicknameLe Magnifique, Mr. 66, Super Mario, The Greatest One
Age57 (October 5, 1965)
Weight235 lb (107 kg)
Height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
BirthplaceMontreal, Quebec, Canada
ProfessionCanadian Ice Hockey Player (retd.)
Draft1st overall, 1984 (Pittsburgh Penguins)
PositionCentre
ShootsRight
TeamPittsburgh Penguins
Jersey Number#66
GP915
G690
A1033
PTS1723
+/-+114
PS167.9
Net Worth$200 Million
EndorsementsNike
Salary$13 million
FatherJean-Guy Lemieux
MotherPierrette Lemieux
BrothersAlain Lemieux and Richard Lemieux
Marital StatusMarried
SpouseNathalie Asselin
Children4

Mario Lemieux Biography

Mario Lemieux was born to parents Jean-Guy and Pierrette Lemieux on October 5, 1965, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Standing tall at 6 ft 4 in and weighing 235 lb, Lemieux’s presence in ice hockey was commanding. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins as the first overall pick in 1984, he wore the jersey number 66 and made his NHL debut on October 11.

Throughout his career, Lemieux showcased exceptional skill and talent, leading the Penguins to Stanley Cup victories in 1991 and 1992 as a player. His achievements include winning an Olympic gold for Canada in 2002, securing the Lester B. Pearson Award four times, and being named the NHL’s MVP three times. Moreover, Lemieux made history in 1988 when he scored a goal in all five possible game situations in a single match. His career stats boast 690 plans and 1,033 assists in 915 games, placing him among the best in the sport.

However, Lemieux’s journey wasn’t smooth. Plagued by health issues, including Hodgkin’s lymphoma and chronic back pain, he only played 915 out of 1,430 regular-season games. He retired twice, first in 1997 and then finally in 2006. Despite his challenges, he made a profound impact. He became the Penguins’ principal owner in 1999, ensuring the team’s stability. By 2021, although he sold a controlling interest in the group, he continued as part-owner and chairman.

His legacy in the sport is outstanding. Recognized for his contribution, Lemieux was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997 and later into Canada’s Walk of Fame and the IIHF Hall of Fame.

Mario Lemieux is revered as one of hockey’s greatest talents. Legendary defenseman Bobby Orr praised him as “the most talented player I’ve ever seen.” Orr, joined by star center Bryan Trottier and countless fans, believed that Lemieux’s health issues shrunk what could have been an even more extraordinary career.

Mario Lemieux Early Life

Mario Lemieux began playing hockey at just three years old. Initially, he and his brothers made do with wooden kitchen spoons as hockey sticks and bottle caps as pucks in their basement. Their passion for the sport was so strong that their father made a rink on their front lawn, and sometimes, they even packed snow onto their living room carpet to play indoors at night.

Lemieux played alongside future NHL players like Marc Bergevin and J. J. Daigneault in Ville-Emard in his youth. By age 15, he was already showing promise and was drafted into the Laval Voisins of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He broke the league record in the 1983-84 QMJHL season by scoring 282 points in 70 games. This prowess didn’t go unnoticed, and anticipation grew for his NHL career.

Before joining the NHL, Lemieux was clear that he would play for the team that drafted him. However, contract negotiations with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who picked him first overall, initially soured their relationship. Despite this, over 3,000 fans in Pittsburgh eagerly watched the draft. Eventually, Lemieux and the Penguins settled on a two-year contract worth $600,000, with an added signing bonus of $150,000.

Mario Lemieux Career

Mario Lemieux Career

Mario Lemieux started his NHL journey with the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins in 1984. The team, facing financial troubles and relocation rumors, desperately needed a boost. On his debut against the Boston Bruins on October 11, 1984, Lemieux stole the puck from Hall of Famer Ray Bourque and scored with his first NHL shot. That season, he earned the All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player title and took home the Calder Memorial Trophy for Rookie of the Year despite missing seven games. 

In the following years, Lemieux cemented his reputation as a top player. In the 1985-86 season, he was second in scoring only to Wayne Gretzky. The 1987 Canada Cup experience, where he played alongside greats like Gretzky and Mark Messier, fueled his performance in the 1987-88 season.

He secured his first NHL scoring title with 168 points, bagging the Hart Memorial Trophy and another All-Star Game MVP. However, despite his efforts, the Penguins narrowly missed the playoffs. By the 1988-89 season, Lemieux was at the pinnacle of his game, coming close to Gretzky’s record by amassing 199 points and leading the Penguins to their first playoff appearance in seven years. One highlight was his record-breaking game against the New Jersey Devils, where he scored in every possible game situation.

From 1989 to 1992, Mario Lemieux showcased exceptional skills in the NHL. In 1989, he tied NHL records with five goals and eight points in a playoff game against the Philadelphia Flyers, but the Penguins lost the series. In the 1989–90 season, Lemieux maintained a point streak for 46 consecutive games, only second to Wayne Gretzky’s 51-game streak. However, a herniated disc and subsequent infection sidelined him for 50 games in the 1990–91 season. The Penguins acquired players like Joe Mullen, Larry Murphy, Ron Francis, and Ulf Samuelsson to strengthen their lineup. Despite his pain, Lemieux returned to lead the Penguins to their first Stanley Cup victory over the Minnesota North Stars. He secured the Conn Smythe Trophy for his performance. The following season, 1991–92, Lemieux played only 64 games due to injuries but still led the league in points. A slash from the New York Rangers’ Adam Graves broke Lemieux’s hand, but he returned to help the Penguins clinch their second Stanley Cup. Again, Lemieux was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy.

1993, Mario Lemieux made a remarkable comeback after his Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis. After his final radiation treatment, he immediately played a game against the Philadelphia Flyers, scoring both a goal and an assist. Despite the setback, he secured his fourth scoring title, finishing the season with 160 points. However, the New York Islanders defeated the Penguins in the playoffs. Post-season, Lemieux underwent another back surgery and took a leave of absence in 1994 due to fatigue from his treatments.

Lemieux returned in the 1995–96 season, marking his 500th career goal. He led the league with remarkable performance, but the Penguins lost in the Eastern Conference Final. In the 1996–97 season, Lemieux achieved another milestone, scoring his 600th career goal. However, on April 6, 1997, he announced his retirement after the playoffs. The Philadelphia Flyers eliminated the Penguins, and Lemieux received a standing ovation in his final game. Later that year, in November, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, with the usual three-year waiting period being waived in recognition of his outstanding career.

In the late 1990s, the Pittsburgh Penguins faced financial troubles, with mismanagement leading to debts of over $90 million. By 1998, things were so bleak that the team declared bankruptcy. Mario Lemieux, once the star player, emerged as an unexpected savior. Owed $32.5 million in deferred salaries, he became the team’s biggest creditor. 

In 1999, Lemieux proposed to buy the team by converting $20 million of his deferred pay into equity and adding $5 million in cash. This gave him a controlling interest, and he pledged to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh. By September 1, 1999, the NHL approved Lemieux’s ownership bid. He became the first ex-NHL player to own his former team and took on roles as president, chairman, and CEO. Under Lemieux’s leadership, the team’s financial situation improved, turning a significant loss into a slight profit by the following season.

In 2000, Mario Lemieux made headlines by coming out of retirement. Late that year, he made a sensational return against the Toronto Maple Leafs, proving his prowess with a goal and three points. Jaromír Jágr retained his captaincy for the Penguins, but Lemieux’s impact was undeniable, being named the North American All-Stars’ captain during the All-Star game. Over the next few seasons, Lemieux’s performance stayed commendable despite his team’s struggles and health challenges. 

By 2005, after the NHL lock-out, optimism surrounded the Penguins, especially with the drafting of Sidney Crosby. Lemieux, a player and owner, mentored Crosby, even offering him a place in his home. However, his dual role sometimes posed conflicts, especially concerning NHL labor negotiations. Despite this, Lemieux’s influence in both capacities was significant, aiming for reforms and the betterment of the sport.

Mario Lemieux represented Canada in various international tournaments, earning accolades and medals throughout his career. In 1983, he secured a bronze at the World Junior Championships and a silver at the 1985 World Championships. His leadership was pivotal in the 1987 Canada Cup, where Canada emerged as champions. At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Lemieux, handpicked by Gretzky as captain, showcased his exceptional skills and hockey insight with a clever play that involved Paul Kariya, leading Canada to its first Olympic gold in fifty years. Despite his deteriorating health, Lemieux captained and contributed significantly to Canada’s victory in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. Though selected for the 2006 Winter Olympics, he declined due to health concerns.

Honors and Achievements

Mario Lemieux, an iconic character in the history of ice hockey, has left an everlasting impression on the sport with his outstanding talents and multiple records. From NHL awards to worldwide distinctions, Lemieux’s career is packed with accomplishments that distinguish him as one of hockey’s greatest superstars.

Legacy and Honors:

  • Statue erected in Pittsburgh on March 7, 2012, created by sculptor Bruce Wolfe, outside the Consol Energy Center.
  • Local confectioner D. L. Clark Company produced a Mario Bar in 1992.

NHL Records:

  • Shorthanded goals in a season: 13 (1988–89)
  • Most power-play points in a single season: 80
  • Highest empty-net goal game ratio: 1 in 27.7 games
  • He was the only player to score five goals five different ways in one game
  • Highest career goals per game average in playoffs: .710
  • Most points in a single all-star game: 6

Shared NHL Records:

  • Most goals in a period: 4 (Shared with 13 others, including Tage Thompson in 2022)
  • He is one of two players with 10+ shorthanded goals in two different seasons (the other being Wayne Gretzky).
  • Several records shared with Wayne Gretzky, such as career All-Star Game goals (13) and All-Star Game MVP awards (3).

Pittsburgh Penguins Records:

  • Career goals: 690
  • Career assists: 1033
  • Career points: 1723
  • Goals in a season: 85 (1988–89)
  • Assists in a season: 114 (1988–89)
  • Points in a season: 199 (1988–89)

NHL Awards:

  • Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame 1997
  • Stanley Cup Wins: 1991, 1992, *2009, *2016, *2017 (*As an owner)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy: 1991, 1992
  • Art Ross Trophy: 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997
  • Ted Lindsay Award: 1986, 1988, 1993, 1996
  • Hart Memorial Trophy: 1988, 1993, 1996

International Awards:

  • Canada Cup Gold: 1987
  • Winter Olympics Gold: 2002
  • World Cup of Hockey Gold: 2004
  • Inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame 2008

Other Recognitions:

  • Officer of the Order of Canada: 2009
  • National Order of Quebec: 2009
  • Induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame: 2004
  • Order of Hockey in Canada: 2016
  • His #66 jersey was retired by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Team Canada, and Laval Titan.
  • Named to IIHF All-Time Canada Team: 2020.

Teams

YearTeamJersey Number
1984–1997Pittsburgh Penguins#66
2000–2006Pittsburgh Penguins#66

Mario Lemieux Career Stats

SeasonsTMGPGAP(+/-)PIMPPGPPASHGSHAGWGOTGSS%TOI/GP
1984-85PIT734357100-33541122002120920.6
1985-86PIT794893141-8431749004127617.4
1986-87PIT63545310712571919004226720.2
1987-88PIT777098168239222581047238218.3
1988-89PIT76851141994110031481358131327.2
1989-90PIT594578123-18781435304022619.9
1990-91PIT261926458306710208921.3
1991-92PIT64448713127941235465024917.7
1992-93PIT606991160553816396310028624.1
1993-94PIT22172037-2327800409218.5
1995-96PIT70699216110543148818233820.4
1996-97PIT76507212227651522337032715.3
2000-01PIT4335417615181616105117120.524:20:00
2001-02PIT2462531014212000075822:16
2002-03PIT67286391-25431431004123511.923:05
2003-04PIT10189-26040000214.822:24
2005-06PIT2671522-16163120000779.119:22
Career Regular9156901,0331,723114834236465492274113,6331922:40
Career Playoffs1077696172208729497111040218.924:35:00

Source: StatMuse

Mario Lemieux Post Retirement

In 2006, at age 40, Mario Lemieux announced his permanent retirement from professional hockey. His decision came after facing health issues like atrial fibrillation and struggling with the accelerated pace of the “new NHL.” Although he scored 22 points in his final 26 games, Lemieux stated he couldn’t maintain the high playing level he was known for.

Following his retirement, Lemieux shifted his focus to the business side of hockey. In 2006, plans were to sell the Penguins to Jim Balsillie, but the deal fell through, leading to some disputes. By 2007, under Lemieux’s leadership, an agreement was reached for a new arena in Pittsburgh, ensuring the Penguins stayed in the city for another 30 years. His commitment to the team continued to pay off, with the Penguins securing multiple Stanley Cup victories in 2009, 2016, and 2017, marking his third, fourth, and fifth titles, respectively, with the latter two as an owner.

Beyond hockey, Lemieux showcased his sporting prowess in golf. He competed in the American Century Championship, a renowned celebrity golf event, and clinched the title in 1998 with an impressive 3-under 69 score. The competition, aired by NBC, takes place at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Nevada.

Mario Lemieux Jersey Number

Mario Lemieux was uniquely associated with jersey No. 66 during his time with the Penguins, being the first and only player on the team to do it. He chose this number in 1984, flipping Wayne Gretzky’s famous 99 upside down, making him the second in the NHL to wear No. 66. This choice cemented his legacy with the number, which was amplified when the Penguins built their new arena with 66 suites in his honor.

Lemieux’s immense contributions to the game and the Penguins made him an icon, leading the team in numerous stats and earning the title of the most significant Penguin ever. The group recognized his significance, retiring his No. 66 jersey twice. The first time was from November 19, 1997, to December 27, 2000, and then again after Lemieux’s official retirement on January 24, 2006.

On October 5, 2006, the Mellon Arena celebrated Lemieux’s legacy by projecting an image of his retirement banner onto the ice. This special ceremony, held on his 41st birthday, was a tribute to the legendary player and his iconic No. 66.

Mario Lemieux Net Worth

Mario Lemieux Net Worth

Mario Lemieux boasts a net worth of approximately $200 million, marking a stellar financial journey that began with his entry into professional hockey. As a player, Lemieux stood out as the highest-paid hockey athlete globally, earning over $10 million annually for 10 of his 17 playing seasons.

Starting in 1984, Lemieux’s earnings took off with a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins, granting him a $600,000 salary and an additional $150,000 as a signing bonus.

By 1986, he secured another contract with the Penguins worth $3.25 million spread over five years. Yet, 1992 saw Lemieux’s most lucrative deal: a guaranteed seven-year contract amounting to $42 million. 

Net Worth Growth

Net Worth in 2023$210 Million
Net Worth in 2022$198 Million
Net Worth in 2021$180 Million
Net Worth in 2020$175 Million
Net Worth in 2019$160 Million
Net Worth in 2018$145 Million

Source: CAknowledge

Transactions

DateTransaction
Apr 26 1997Retired from Professional Hockey
Oct 5 1992Signed a 7 year $42 million contract with Pittsburgh (PIT)
Aug 1 1989Signed a 5 year $10 million contract with Pittsburgh (PIT)
Nov 1 1988Signed a 1 year $1.6 million contract with Pittsburgh (PIT)
Jan 1 1986Signed a 4 year $3.5 million extension with Pittsburgh (PIT)
Jun 19 1984Signed a 3 year $725k contract with Pittsburgh (PIT)
Jun 9 1984Drafted by Pittsburgh (PIT): Round 1 (#1 overall)

Source: Spotrac-transactions

Mario Lemieux Endorsements

In 2000, Mario Lemieux entered into an endorsement partnership with Nike, inking a lifetime deal valued at $500,000 per season. This commitment came after he acquired the Pittsburgh Penguins, during which he initially faced a minor loss but quickly turned the franchise’s fortune, attributing to a significant portion of his net worth through the team’s achievements.

Lemieux’s legacy in hockey was further cemented in 2005 when the Pittsburgh Penguins released an emotional tribute documentary titled “Mario Lemieux – The Best. Ever”, earning widespread acclaim. A year later, NHL Vintage Collections exclusively showcased his matches, and his iconic play moments were featured in NHL Greatest Moments. 

Beyond Nike, Lemieux expanded his endorsement portfolio by partnering with ESPN. It’s estimated that these endorsements and others significantly bolstered his earnings, contributing an astounding $100 million to his overall net worth.

Mario Lemieux Family

Mario Lemieux hails from Montreal, born to Pierrette, a dedicated stay-at-home mom, and Jean-Guy Lemieux, an engineer. The Ville-Émard district was their home, where Mario and his two older brothers, Alain and Richard, grew up in a working-class setting.

Being the youngest of the three Lemieux sons, Mario’s upbringing was primarily influenced by his mother, who was ever-present at home, and his father, who worked in construction.

Mario’s brother, Alain Lemieux, made a name for himself in professional ice hockey. Alain played in the NHL with teams like the St. Louis Blues, Quebec Nordiques, and Pittsburgh Penguins and stands as the elder sibling to NHL legend Mario Lemieux.

Mario Lemieux Wife and Children

Mario Lemieux and Nathalie Asselin shared several years before sealing their commitment on June 26, 1993. The couple has four children: Lauren, Stephanie, Austin, and Alexa.

Lauren Lemieux, born in April 1993, is the couple’s eldest. She graduated from Babson College in 2015, majoring in Finance. Lauren currently serves as the Manager of Partnership Marketing at the Pittsburgh Penguins and contributes to the Mario Lemieux Foundation, a charitable organization co-founded by her parents. In 2021, Lauren married Gabe Antoni. 

Stephanie Lemieux, the second daughter born in 1995, has also been involved in sports, playing hockey like her father at Boston College and Shattuck St. Mary. However, after college, she pivoted to business, founding the children’s clothing brand Little Moo, specializing in comfortable and organic garments.

Austin Lemieux was born in 1996 and, despite a premature birth, grew up to play college hockey at Arizona State University. However, after two seasons, he shifted his passion to golf, seeking a professional career in the sport. 

The youngest of the brood, Alexa Lemieux, born in 1997, pursued her education at the University of Southern California, graduating in Real Estate Development in 2019. She now works as a real estate agent and is also into acting, landing a role in the hockey-themed movie “Odd Man Rush.” Alexa’s interests distinguish her from her sports-centric family, emphasizing her passion for acting and real estate.

Mario Lemieux Personal Life

Mario Lemieux once smoked heavily, consuming up to a pack of cigarettes daily. However, he quit, possibly influenced by his battle with Hodgkin’s Disease. Lemieux resides with his family in the upscale Pittsburgh suburb of Sewickley. He also owned a lavish second residence in Quebec near Mont-Tremblant, dubbed Chateau Fleur de Lys. Built in 2009 for $20 million, he listed it for sale in 2018. Over the years, Lemieux has generously opened his home to young Penguins players like Marc-André Fleury and Sidney Crosby, assisting them as they acclimated to Pittsburgh.

Politically, Lemieux is a naturalized American citizen and a registered Republican. In particular, he contributed to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, although he previously supported Republican Rick Santorum. Recognizing his contributions, he was knighted as part of the National Order of Quebec in 2009 and became Officer of the Order of Canada in 2010.

Lemieux’s influence goes beyond hockey. He had a Sega Genesis video game named after him and was featured on the cover of EA Sports’ 2002 NHL series. The hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest mentioned him in their song “Keep It Rollin’,” the band Comeback Kid derived their name from Lemieux’s nickname. He also appears in multiple NHL game editions and has influenced how some school children learn about quotation marks, comparing them to “Lemieux and Gretzky.”

Mario Lemieux Philanthropy

In 1993, after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, Mario Lemieux established the Mario Lemieux Foundation. This foundation backs medical research initiatives and supports institutions like the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh. In 2007, Lemieux and other renowned athletes co-founded Athletes for Hope. This organization aids professional athletes in charitable endeavors and encourages the general public to partake in community service.

When Lemieux’s son Austin was born prematurely in 1996, the family’s extended hospital stays highlighted a lack of play spaces for children. Inspired by this experience and Nathalie Lemieux’s vision, the Lemieux Foundation initiated the “Austin’s Playroom Project.” This project creates playrooms in hospitals throughout the US. These spaces allow child patients and their siblings to focus on healing and being children.

By January 31, 2014, the foundation celebrated the inauguration of the twenty-ninth Austin’s Playroom at the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in California.

Conclusion

Mario Lemieux, a legendary figure in hockey, has left a lasting mark on the sport with his significant career highlights and financial accomplishments, boasting a net worth of around 200 million dollars. Lemieux’s career, characterized by unprecedented skills and resilience, saw him as one of the highest-paid players, setting numerous records over his 17 seasons.

Beyond his athletic achievements, Lemieux has a robust personal and familial life, being married to Nathalie Asselin and fathering four children. His philanthropic endeavors, such as creating the Mario Lemieux Foundation after his diagnosis with Hodgkin lymphoma and initiatives like “Austin’s Playroom,” underline his commitment to societal well-being and highlight his compassionate nature. Lemieux’s multifaceted legacy extends far beyond the hockey rink, impacting countless lives through his varied contributions.

FAQs

Why did Mario wear 66?

Mario Lemieux chose to wear 66, a modest reference to Gretzky’s 99.

Why did Mario Lemieux retire so early?

He retired on two occasions due to these health issues, first in 1997 after battling lymphoma before returning in 2000, and then a second and final time in 2006 after being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Due to Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Lemieux also missed the entire 1994–95 season.

Is Mario Lemieux in the Hall of Fame?

In 1997, Mario was unanimously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame without having to wait the customary three years after retirement.

How many Stanley Cups has Mario Lemieux won?

Mario Lemieux has won 2 Stanley Cups as a player.

Alice Moreno
About the author

Hi, I'm Alice Moreno. I've been writing about celebrities since 2005. I love sharing stories about famous people and finding out how much they're worth. I studied Journalism and enjoy digging for facts to make sure everything I write is true.

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