On the 2007 list of Forbes' richest Americans, Nicholas was ranked number 195, with a net worth of $2.3 billion.,
Ballot initiative activism
In 2008, Nicholas is a significant donor to two ballot initiatives qualified for the November ballot:
- California Proposition 9 (2008) , an amendment to California's constitution, which would reduce frequency of parole hearings and deny California's legislature the opportunity to release non-violent prisoners early.
- The California Proposition 6 (2008) , a measure to reallocate funds from California's General fund to increase prison and criminal justice spending.
In October 2007, Nicholas was indicted for felony drug conspiracy. When those charges were unsealed in June 2008, Nicholas stepped away from an active role in Proposition. A spokesman said, "During the last week, legal issues arose affecting one of the initiative's major supporters, Dr. Henry Nicholas.... Dr. Nicholas has proactively acted to help the campaign move forward without distraction."
In 2006, Nicholas donated $157,250 to the "yes" side of California Proposition 83 (2006).
In 2004, according to Joe Mathews, "Nicholas' behavior during [the last two weeks of the Prop 66 election campaign] was strange. He seemed to work all night, rarely sleeping. With the assistance of then Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, Nicholas pulled an all-nighter in the Long Beach home studio of a rock musician to make "No on 66" radio ads. He then started calling radio stations over the last weekend, begging managers to broadcast the ads despite full slates. It all seemed manic, but Nicholas told me at the time he simply had a passion for crime victims."