Burl Ives Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Akinwalere Olaleye
Jan 31, 2024 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on May 09, 2022
Discover one of the most eminent personalities of America's folk culture, Burl Ives!
All ages
Read time: 5.1 Min

About Burl Ives

The folk singer, Burl Ives was born in Hunt City, Illinois, the United States on June 14, 1909.
The American singer was brought up by his parents Levi Ives and Cordelia Ives. They had multiple children Norma, Clarence, Audry, Argola, Lillburn, and Artie.
Burl Ives started his career as a traveling songwriter and guitar player, eventually creating his own radio program, The Wayfaring Stranger, which helped to popularize traditional folk music. Burl Ives began performing on the radio in Indiana.
The singer had his Broadway debut through a well-appreciated musical. During the '40s, Burl Ives owned a radio show. The following years saw the American singer publicizing traditional folk songs. The actor was also recruited by the U.S Army, he spent time at Camp Upton and Camp Dix and left with a Corporal ranking.
After leaving the Army, Burl Ives again started working on Radio (CBS). In the American western movie, 'Smoky' he did the role of a supporting actor. Burl Ives re-recorded different versions of 'The Blue Tail Fly' as well. His critical hit came when the singer did the version with 'Andrews Sisters'.
The folk singer was also involved in multiple film roles. Some of his films are 'East of Eden', 'Desire Under the Elms', and 'Cat On A Hot Tin Roof'. Burl Iver because of his communist connection was debarred and blacklisted, but later on his ties with the House Un-American Activities Committee strengthened, and he was again allowed to perform.
The folk singer started singing country music and he continued through the decade of the '60s. After a couple of years, he released a few songs which became popular in America and in the genre of country music. Burl Ives once again went into the acting business and did several films as a supporting actor and several television roles.
'In A Holly Jolly Christmas', Burl Ives did the voice of a character, Sam the snowman. His character, Sam the snowman, plays the banjo instrument and narrates the story. Burl Ives also invested himself in television productions, such as 'Roots' and 'Pinocchio'. The actor also did a comedy series called 'O.K. Crackerby!'.
The Academy Award winner also acted in a production that had themes of macabre. He played the main role in 'The Other Way Out' and 'The Man Who Wanted to Live Forever'. Burl Ives was the first Audio-Animatronics figure to be used in a Disney park attraction, lending his voice to Sam Eagle, an Audio-Animatronic host at Disneyland, which opened in 1974.
Burl Ives was the company's commercial spokesman for several years and he also starred in numerous Luzianne tea television commercials. Burl Ives also appeared in Fuller's controversial and praised film 'White Dog,' as Carruthers, a dog trainer.
In 1989, Burl Ives announced his retirement from the entertainment industry. The news came on his 80th birthday, although he occasionally hosted charity events of his own free will until 1993.
Burl Ives had a Net worth of $5 Million
The actor for decades, Ives had a cordial relationship with the Boy Scouts of America. He was a Lone Scout before that organization merged with the Boy Scouts of America. They also inducted him. Burl Ives often performed at scout's rallies.
In addition, Ives provided the voice for a documentary about the 1977 National Jamboree. The Boy Scouts produced this film. Ives through the film claims how scouting develops and shapes children's character and development.
Burl Ives was a heavy smoker of pipes and cigars. Much later in life, he was infected with oral cancer. The disease was still untreatable after several operations. Burl Ives went into a coma and passed away in April 1995. He was in his home which was in Anacortes, Washington.

Burl Ives net worth, earnings & spending habits

What was Burl Ives’s net worth?

Burl Ives had a net worth of $5 Million. Burl Iver's main source of income came from being a professional singer. The American celebrity had amassed a large sum of money through commercial endorsements and wide sponsorship transactions. The actor had also gained a good deal of money from endorsement agreements. Burl Ives had a net worth of $5 Million

Height, age & physical attributes

How tall was Burl Ives?

Burl Ives had a height of 6 ft (185 cm).

How old was Burl Ives?

Burl Ives lived to 85 years old.

Childhood and education

Burl Ives had completed his education at Eastern Illinois University which was earlier known as Eastern Illinois State Teachers College. It is situated in Illinois (Charleston). During his schooling years, the singer played football. Ives also went to New York's Juilliard School. During the '30s, Burl Ives was traveling all throughout the U.S., and to support himself he also ventured into different jobs.

Family, romance, and relationships

Who was Burl Ives’s spouse?

Burl Ives was married to Helen Peck Ehrlich. They both had a son, Alexander Ives. After their divorce Burl Ives married Dorothy Koster Paul. Both Ives and Dorothy Koster Paul owned multiple property and resided in them.

Career and professional highlights

Best known for…

Burl Ives was an iconic and legendary personality known throughout the United States. His contribution to traditional folk songs and films has been greatly appreciated by the audiences. Burl is a recognized name when it comes to the Christmas spirits. His role as the narrator in the 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' was greatly loved.
Burl Ives's songs still continue to top some of the country's music charts. He also became a major star on CBS radio, as he appeared in Berlin's 'This Is The Army'. He also is an honorable recipient of multiple awards as well.

Charity Work

Burl Ives did many concerts for charity throughout his spectacularly led career. With a charmingly warm and friendly personality, he amassed great appreciation from people, especially kids.

What awards did Burl Ives win?

Burl Ives for his supporting role in the film, 'The Big Country' won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Burl Ives also won a Grammy Award. Burl Ives was recognized with the Order of Lincoln and induction as a laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Burl Ives was named to the DeMolay International Hall of Fame, in 1994.

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Burl Ives Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Date of Birth


Date of Death




Place of Birth

Hunt City, Illinois


185 cm

Eye Color


Child Star?



Singer, Musician


Eastern Illinois University

Net Worth



Helen Peck, Ehrlich, Dorothy Koster Paul


Cordelia Ives, Levi Ives


Audry Ives, Artie Ives, Clarence Ives, Argola Ives, Lillburn Ives, Norma Ives
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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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