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The Net Worth of the American Presidents

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Throughout history, U.S. Presidents have earned quite a hefty paycheck. Comparing the worth of Presidents in both the recent and distant past shows just how much this world has changed over the centuries. Donald Trump routinely brags about being a billionaire, but not every American President was wealthy. Here is a look at Presidential worth, from the lowest to the highest in history.

Discover which Presidents came from poverty and check out page 1 to see Donald Trump.

35. Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln numbers among the Presidents who had modest upbringings.  He worked as a lawyer before becoming President. Throughout his life, he ran a general store that failed and even toiled away performing manual labor, and later went bankrupt after the death of his business partner.

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Lincoln had thousands of dollars in debt and lost most of his assets — and turned to studying the law out of desperation. In today’s world, Presidents have more opportunities to increase their net worth than ever before.  But not in Abraham Lincoln case – he was in the under $1 million club. `

34. James Buchanan

In the early days of the Presidency, one’s net worth was not what one would expect today. Several U.S. Presidents had a net worth of $1 million or less, like James Buchanan. Of all the U.S. Presidents, Buchanan was the only single man who ever held office.

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Buchanan almost married a rich girl but it was broken off when he visited a friend’s wife. Buchanan was also a lawyer for nine years. At his death, his net worth was less than $1 million.

33. James Garfield

Garfield was born in a log cabin in Ohio. Prior to becoming U.S. President, James Garfield was a House of Representatives member for 18 years. His only assets were property and a home collectively referred to as “Lawnfield.”

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Garfield had almost no net worth at all and has an estimated net worth of under $1 million. Problems with Stalwart Senator Roscoe Conkling occupied much of his brief presidency. President James Garfield, was in office less than 4 months when he was shot by an aggrieved Republican Stalwart.

32. Woodrow Wilson

Though he earned a Doctorate from Johns Hopkins University, in Maryland, Woodrow Wilson had other aspirations. He even served as Princeton University President. Wilson also worked as a New Jersey Governor. Throughout his career, Wilson earned much less than one would expect him.

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Wilson has only estimated net worth of under $1 million. Woodrow Wilson served two terms as U.S. President and his public persuasion skills made him much loved. He served as President throughout World War 1. Wilson had a stroke in office and died five years later.

31. Harry Truman

Harry Truman struggled with money more than most other Presidents. He never completed his college education before he started working. Prior to serving office, he worked as a Missouri haberdasher.

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When he became U.S. President, he set aside a portion of his earnings. However, due to constraints in his personal budget, a higher salary for U.S. Presidents was established. Truman also benefited in that he was the first President in the country to receive Medicare and Wilson has only estimated net worth of under $1 million.

Next $1 Million + Club

30. Warren G. Harding

Harding owed much of his net worth to his marriage. Harding married into money, just as Ulysses S. Grant did. In Harding’s case, his wife’s father was a wealthy banker.

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While Harding owned a home that contributed to his net worth, he also owned a newspaper. The Marion Daily Star helped him amass his money and he has a net worth of $1 million.

29. William Howard Taft

The 27th President of the United States was President of the American Bar Association, an active attorney for nearly two decades, and made history as the only President in the U.S. to be a U.S. Supreme Court member.

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Taft did hold various public office positions, as well as the presidency and had a net worth of $3 million.

28. Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford B. Hayes  (1822-1893), the 19th President of the United States, was raised by his shopkeeper father. He has a net worth of $3 million and he amassed his net worth as a House of Representatives member.

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He was also a Governor in Ohio and spent many years as a lawyer. His Ohio home was called “Spiegel Grove.” It was located on 25 acres of land he owned.

27. Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States. Harrison was the grandson of William Henry Harrison. He is also remembered for his efforts to ensure African Americans had the right and the opportunity to vote. Benjamin’s net worth was $6.1 million but neither he nor his wife was independently wealthy.

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He was a highly-paid attorney for 18 years. During that time, he provided legal assistance regarding a dispute over borders with the Republic of Venezuela. Harrison owned a large Victorian home in Indianapolis, Indiana.

26. Zachary Taylor

The majority of the 12th President of the United States  Zachary Taylor’s $7 million net worth came from owning properties. Various inheritances resulted in Taylor owning property in three separate states.

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He also leased warehouses and made money as an investor. By buying and selling utility and bank stocks, he contributed to his net worth. Taylor was a popular president, though history has viewed him more harshly for his passivity in the face of growing sectional tensions.

25. Gerald Ford Jr.

With a net worth of $8.1 million, Gerald Ford Jr spent most of his career working in the public sector. Throughout his adult life, he was a multi-time landowner, with properties in three states.

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Following his Presidency, his wealth continued to grow. On a yearly basis, he earned money from American companies by sitting on their boards. He also made money from advances for books he wrote.

24. Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter also has a net worth of $8.1 million. Though his family had no money growing up, he took over the animal farm and helped the business run smoothly.

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However, most of his net worth was accrued through the 25+ books he and his wife have written. They are now landowners in Georgia.

23. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower had a net worth of $9.1 million, most of which came from his Presidency. However, he also served as a member of the U.S. military.

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In addition, he was Columbia’s President for five years. On a personal note, he had a Gettysburg, PA farm.

22. Ronald Reagan

Most people know that Ronald Reagan’s wealth came from his acting career. Prior to the Presidency, he was already earning his $14.2 million net worth.

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In addition to his acting, he was also a property owner. Reagan also earned money as GE spokesman and through his autobiography sales.

21. Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon served the public more than anything else. He was a California Senator before he was President. He owned a townhouse in New York.

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However, he sold it to the U.S.A.’s Syrian Ambassador. With that money, he bought a much larger New Jersey home. He also accrued wealth through book advances and high profile interviews.

20. John Adams

John Adams was a Founding Father, the first vice President of the United States and the second President. Adams had a net worth of $21.3 million, some of which came from an inheritance. He owned his own law firm, which made him quite successful.

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Adams’s wife also brought money into the marriage. She belonged to a well-to-do family in Massachusetts, where Adams owned 40-acres of land. ohn Quincy Adams, Adams’s son, would eventually become the sixth President of the United States, though he was a member of the opposition party, the Democratic-Republicans.

19. John Quincy Adams

With a net worth of $26.3 million, John Quincy Adams was a landowner thanks to an inheritance from his father. He managed the 40 acres of the property after John Adams passed away.

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Quincy Adams married a wealthy merchant’s daughter, adding to his net worth. For a large part of Quincy Adams’ life, he worked in the public sector. That was the rest of his working life once his time as U.S. President had ended.

18. George H.W. Bush

George H.W. Bush was born into an exceptionally privileged, wealthy, and influential family. Bush had a net worth $26.3 million. Before he even became President, he was already working on his net worth. H.W. made money with his offshore drilling company.

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The Bushes are have been considered an “old money” family. Samuel Prescott Bush, H.W. Bush’s grandfather, controlled the Buckeye Steel Castings Company, He was also a wealthy property owner, with a $5 million estate in Maine.

17. Grover Cleveland

Raised by a preacher/bookseller, Grover Cleveland had a net worth of $28.3 million. Part of his net worth came from his marriage to a lawyer’s daughter.

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Most of it came from his land ownership and worked as a lawyer. He sold an estate he owned, close to Washington DC. With that money, he purchased a New Jersey mansion.

16. Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren had a net worth of $29.3 million. While he owned Upstate New York property, the majority of his net worth came from his political and law career.

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He and one other U.S. President have the distinction of holding multiple offices. Van Buren worked as the Vice President and Speaker of the House as well.

15. James Monroe

Aside from his two terms as U.S. President, James Monroe’s net worth of $30.4 million came from his wife’s family. Her father was a wealthy officer in Britain. Monroe also owned a 3500-acre plantation.

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James Monroe was the 5th President  of the United States and the period of his administration has been called the Era of Good Feelings

14. George W. Bush

Like his father, much of George W. Bush’s $39.5 million net worth stemmed from the oil industry. At one point in his life, he became the owner of the Texas Rangers. He also served as a Governor in Texas, prior to his Presidency. Much of his wealth also came from writing a book and giving speeches all over the country.

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Bush served as the nation’s 43rd President, earning two terms in office and presiding over the country during the traumas of Sept. 11

13. Barack Obama

With a net worth of $40 million, Barack Obama has been unstoppable. Obama earned $400,000 a year during his eight years as President, and he earns an annual pension of about $200,000 as a former President.

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Aside from his Presidency, much of his net worth is due to speaking engagements and a book deal. Between Barack and his wife Michelle, they have earned $65 million for their respective books. Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming” was the top-selling book of 2018.

12. John Tyler

John Tyler had a net worth of $57.7 million. Part of his fortune came from inheriting a tobacco plantation 1,000 acres in size. He also bought 1600 acres from William Henry Harrison. In addition, Tyler’s first marriage was to a wealthy woman.

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In 1844, John Tyler became the first President to marry while in office when he wed Julia Gardiner (1820-89), a wealthy New Yorker. The couple had seven children. With a total of 15 offspring from his two marriages, Tyler fathered more children than any other U.S. President in history

11. Franklin D. Roosevelt

With a net worth of $66.8 million, Franklin Roosevelt had his own money and his wife’s money. He was earned from working in the public sector for most of his career. Prior to his Presidency, Roosevelt was Woodrow Wilson’s Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

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His wealth also came from properties he owned. He was a property owner in multiple states and also had an 800-acre estate.

10. Bill Clinton

Not surprisingly, Bill Clinton has a net worth of $75.9 million.However, it was mostly accrued after he left office.  When Clinton finished his Presidential term in 2001, he was millions of dollars in debt

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, due to legal fees. “I left the White House $16 million in debt”.

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His net worth is largely due to speeches and book deals. In his first year out of office, Bill gave 57 speeches and earned $13.7 million. Both Bill and his wife Hilary obtained book deals that added to the net worth. Between the two of them, they earned $29 million just by publishing their books.

9. Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover left a net worth of $83 million. None of it came from his work as U.S. President. Before politics, Hoover was the executive of a mining company. He held stock in many other companies within the industry.

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Hoover lived in a California mansion referred to as the “Hoover House.” Not needing his Presidential salary, Hoover invested 100% of it to charity.

8. Lyndon Johnson

Though Lyndon Johnson grew up poor, he more than made up for it. His net worth was $109.3 million. Throughout his adult life, he acquired land in Texas. He owned what he referred to as the “Texas White House.”

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During his marriage, Johnson and his wife owned their own aircraft as well as livestock. In addition, they owned Austin, Texas both TV and radio stations.

7. James Madison

His political career and assets gave James Madison a net worth of $113.3 million. Madison served as both a U.S. President and the Secretary of State.

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At the time, no one owned more land in Orange County, Virginia as Madison did. He had an estate as well as 5,000 acres of land.

6. Andrew Jackson

During the 1800s, only a few U.S. Presidents had as much wealth as Andrew Jackson did. His net worth was $132.6 million. Jackson earned money through the military.

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His wife’s family also had their own fortune. He lived on a property called “the Hermitage.” The land spanned 1,050 acres.

5. Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt was born into money and had a net worth of $139.7 million. Aside from his own trust fund, he earned money working in the public sector.

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Throughout his life, he also became a published author. The rest of his wealth involved his estate. It spanned 235 acres and was called “Sagamore Hill.”

4. Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson’s net worth of $236.8 million was from his work in politics and from owning property. He worked some undisclosed jobs in politics.

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When Jefferson’s father died, he inherited 3,000 acres of land. He also owned a Virginia plantation stretching 5,000 acres, which he called home.

3. George Washington

George Washington had an unprecedented net worth of $587 million. He earned such a high salary that in 1789 it equaled 2% of what the budget was for the entire United States.

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He and his wife owned the property that she had from a previous marriage. He also owned property on his own. He had a plantation in Virginia called “Mount Vernon.” It contained 8,000 acres of farmland and held five complete farms.

2. John Fitzgerald Kennedy

The Kennedy family has been called America’s royalty. Elected in 1960 as the 35th President of the United States, 43-year-old John F. Kennedy became one of the youngest U.S. Presidents. Born into great wealth, Kennedy’s wife was oil heiress.

 

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Almost all of JFK’s income and property came from trust shared with other family members. John F. Kennedy, had he lived, would have inherited a fortune from his father estimated at $1 billion. Joseph P. Kennedy.  His father was one of the wealthiest men in America and was the first chairman of the SEC.

1. Donald Trump

No U.S. President has ever had a larger net worth than Donald Trump. It is a staggering $3.1 billion. Prior to becoming President, he ran the family’s real estate company.

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Trump now owns many others, as well as numerous golf courses. Trump continues to refuse to publicly release his tax returns, which would reveal details about income from his business interests.

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