Remember baby-sitting for 50 cents an hour? That first job paying $110 a week?
Deciding what a person is paid is seldom a scientific process by any assessment. The following shows a range of 1987 salaries from the $6,968 earned by a minimum-wage worker to the $60 million garnered by Charles Lazarus, the 64-year-old chairman of Toys R Us. Lazarus, identified by Business Week magazine as the nation's highest-paid executive, received a $315,000 base salary, a $3.3-million bonus and $56.4 million in stock options.
Jim P. Manzi, chairman of Lotus Development, the giant computer software firm, was second with $26.3 million, including stock options.
A sure contender as this year's top-paid executive is Walt Disney Chairman Michael Eisner who earned $6.7 million in base salary and bonuses last year, along with millions of dollars in stock options. The stock options were exercised in late December and do not appear in Disney's proxy statement that lists top salaries in 1987. A Walt Disney spokesman declined to reveal the size of Eisner's stock-option gain, "because we'll make it public next year and everyone will have a field day next year." Business Week put the figure at more than $31 million.
The following figures come from a variety of public reports and sources, including the companies mentioned. Others are industry estimates. The salaries of sports figures may include deferred compensation.
CORPORATE LEADERS Charles Lazarus, chairman, Toys R Us, paid $60 million; salary and bonuses ($3.6 million) and stock options ($56.4 million) Jim Manzi, chairman, Lotus Development, paid $26.3 million; salary and bonuses ($941,000) and stock options ($25.4 million) Lee Iacocca, chairman, Chrysler, paid $17.9 million; salary and bonuses ($1.7 million) and stock options ($16.2 million) Michael Eisner, chairman, Walt Disney Co., paid $6.7 million in salary and bonuses Armand Hammer, chairman and CEO, Occidental Petroleum, paid $1.94 million in salary and bonuses Robert F. Erburu, chairman and CEO, Times Mirror, paid $1.3 million in salary and bonuses Lew R. Wasserman, chairman and CEO, MCA, paid $559,000 in salary and bonuses ENTERTAINMENT Bill Cosby, actor and author, $57 million Sylvester Stallone, actor, $16 million for Rambo III Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor, $10 million per film Meryl Streep, actress, $4 million per film GOVERNMENT Ronald Reagan, president of the United States, $200,000 Leonard M. Britton, superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District, $141,080 Tom Bradley, mayor, Los Angeles, $88,778 Pete Wilson, senator, California, $87,483 George Deukmejian, governor, California, $85,000 TV MEDIA Dan Rather, CBS news anchor, $3 million Barbara Walters, ABC correspondent, $1.5 million Diane Sawyer, CBS correspondent, $1.2 million Tom Brokaw, NBC news anchor, $900,000 Peter Jennings, ABC news anchor, $800,000 SPORTS Marvelous Marvin Hagler, boxer, $15 million Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers guard, $2.5 million Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers center, $2 million Fernando Valenzuela, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, $2.05 million OTHERS Police officer, Los Angeles Police Department, starting salary, $30,000 (with no college degree); $33,846 (with college degree.) Minimum wage worker at $3.35 hourly rate in 1987, no overtime, $6,968 Teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District, starting salary, BA degree, $23,440 Lawyer, O'Melveny & Myers, starting salary, $60,000 plus $5,000 stipend Accountant, Price Waterhouse in Los Angeles, BA degree, starting salary, $28,000 Carpenter, journeyman, $21.19 an hour Doctor, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, first-year post-graduate resident, $21,000 Firefighter, Los Angeles City Fire Department, starting salary, $28,400 Airline pilot, American Airlines, starting salary, $21,600