The good folks over at The Atlantic did a pretty thorough job of compiling the Net Worth of all 43 U.S. Presidents in history in today’s dollars. According to the article:
One of the most important conclusions of this analysis is that the presidency has little to do with wealth. Several brought huge net worths to the job. Many lost most of their fortunes after leaving office. Some never had any money at all.
Here’s some of the names that stuck out to us on the list:
#1 George Washington
His Virginia plantation, “Mount Vernon,” consisted of five separate farms on 8,000 acres of prime farmland, run by over 300 slaves. His wife, Martha Washington, inherited significant property from her father. Washington made significantly more than subsequent presidents: his salary was two percent of the total U.S. budget in 1789.
#16 Abraham Lincoln
Less than $1 Million
To the log cabin born. Lincoln served as an attorney for 17 years before his presidency. He owned a single-family home in Springfield, Illinois.
#26 Theodore Roosevelt
Born to a prominent and wealthy family, Roosevelt received a significant trust fund. He lost most of his money on a ranching venture in the Dakotas and had to work as an author to pay bills. Roosevelt spent most of his adult years in public service. His 235-acre estate, “Sagamore Hill,” sits on some of the most valuable real estate on Long Island.
#35 John F. Kennedy
Although he never inherited his father’s fortune, the Kennedy family estate was worth nearly $1 billion dollars.
Born into great wealth, Kennedy’s wife was oil heiress. His Father was one of the wealthiest men in America, and was the first chairman of the SEC. Almost all of JFK’s income and property came from trust shared with other family members.
#37 Richard Nixon
Nixon was born without any inheritance, and was a public servant for most of his life including a term as a Senator from California. “Tricky Dick” made significant sums from series of interviews with David Frost and book advances. He sold his New York townhouse to the Syrian ambassador to the U.S. and purchased a large home in Saddle River, NJ. At various times, Nixon also owned real estate in California and Florida.
#41 George H. W. Bush
Bush was the son of Prescott Bush, a Connecticut Senator and successful businessman. Aided by his friends in the financial community, he made a number of successful investments. One of his major assets is his home and 100+ acre estate in Kennebunkport, Maine.
#42 William Jefferson Clinton
Clinton was born with no inheritance, and he made little significant money during 20 plus years of public service. After his time in White House, however, he made a substantial income as an author and public speaker. Clinton received large advance from autobiography. His wife, the secretary of state, has also made money as author.
#43 George W. Bush
Bush was born into a wealthy family. Over ten years, he made substantial sums of money in the oil business. The largest contribution to his net worth was the profitable sale of the Texas Rangers.
#44 Barack H. Obama
Obama is the grandson of a goat herder. He is a former constitutional law professor and civil rights attorney. Book royalties constitute most of Obama’s net worth.