Since he left "American Idol," Cowell's profile in America has become more modest. But in addition to his judging work on "The X Factor," he's still a major behind-the-scenes mogul. "The X Factor" is now on in 41 countries and his "Got Talent" is the biggest-selling television franchise in the world. And then there's music: Cowell is the man behind the hit group One Direction, which formed out of the 2010 British version of "The X Factor."
(Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) More from Forbes
: Full List: 2013’s Top-Earning TV Personalities Hollywood’s Top-Earning Actresses Hollywood’s Top-Earning Actors The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.