My First Class Life
Being President of the United States is a large role to fill as the most powerful man in the world. With that power and title, of course, comes great wealth and fame, whether from a widely well-received tenure or one of great criticism. At a cool $400,000 per year, the President’s every needs are met in terms of his salary, his personal and family needs, as well as that of his preferred lifestyle luxuries. As the man who leads our country to ensure our freedom, this seems like a fair price to pay.
However, in the grand scheme of the lifestyles of the rich and famous, an annual salary of $400,000 is not one that will launch anyone onto the list of the nation’s richest elite. In fact, it is a far cry from most of the people we have included on such lists! President Barack Obama is currently worth an estimated $7 million, which has increased from $1.3 million prior to being elected to office. Even as a multi-millionaire, though, President Obama does not come anywhere near the list of the top 10 richest presidents in the history of the United States.
Many of the presidents on our list come from very old money with family inheritance being a major contributor to their individual wealth. Outside of old money, other contributors include presidential salaries, which were massive as the country first came to independence. Over time, the salaries varied, but despite the changes, our top 10 list of presidents were considerably wealthy. Here’s our list of the richest presidents whose net worth have been calculated according to 2015 currency standards. Let’s start with one of the most iconic presidents of all time whose life was cut tragically short.
The Top 10 Richest U.S.A. Presidents In History
#10 – John F. Kennedy (Net Worth: $1 Billion)
If John F. Kennedy is worth $1 billion, then why is he not at the top of this list? That’s a valid question, but one that can be easily answered. While John F. Kennedy did come from an extremely rich family, he did not have the assets that equaled the $1 billion he was worth. That’s because his father, Joseph Kennedy, Sr. was still alive when JFK passed away in 1963 after being assassinated in Dallas.
Since JFK wasn’t able to inherit his father’s fortune, he was never actually worth the $1 billion that he was in line to receive. Still, JFK did have millions to his name, which was enough to sneak him onto the list of the richest US presidents. Had he lived longer than his father, JFK would easily be at the top of this list with almost twice as much as second place. All in all, JFK was worth around $50 million at the time of his death.
#9 – Bill Clinton (Net Worth: $55 Million)
Bill Clinton has not been out of office for nearly as long as the other members of this list, nor did he come from an incredibly affluent family like so many others. The Top 10 Richest U.S.A. Presidents In History How, then, did Clinton make all of his money? Clinton was in one form of elected office or another for more than two decades, but only racked up a couple of million dollars in that period of time. It was only after holding office that his net worth grew exponentially.
Clinton makes a lot of money now both as a speaker and as a writer. As a matter of fact, Clinton was given $15 million alone for writing an autobiography. Clinton has also been given almost a $1 million for headlining private speaking engagements with various companies around the world. Despite the controversy and scandal that surrounded Clinton in the late 1990’s, it is clear that the man knows how to manage money, and being on this list proves it.
#8 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Net Worth: $60 Million)
Roosevelt was the President who guided America through most of World War II and was the longest serving president with 12 years under his belt. His tenure would have likely continued but he passed away in 1945. Roosevelt was born to wealthy parents, but started his adult life poorly. Fortunately, he received a loan from his own mother to get his feet back on the ground. Roosevelt took the money and went into public service, where he earned even more than he could ever imagine.
FDR’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, also came from a wealthy family, so the couple both had very rich backgrounds that combined to establish a high net worth. FDR ended up owning $60 million by today’s currency standards and had properties along many different parts of the East coast. While most everyone knows about FDR’s leadership through the war and his fight with polio, few people realize how rich he truly was.
#7 – Herbert Hoover (Net Worth: $75 Million)
Herbert Hoover did not get off to a good start in his life in terms of money, as he was an orphan. Luckily, Hoover was adopted by his wealthy uncle who worked as a doctor. Despite his uncle’s wealth, Hoover did not inherit millions from the doctor. Interestingly enough, he did not keep a single dollar from his salary as a President either. Hoover actually made all of his money in the time between when he was working as an executive for a mining organization.
The mining business made Hoover incredibly wealthy for almost 20 years. His stocks held up to the point of great stability, allowing him to donate all of his Presidential earnings. Hoover was the leader in the Depression Era and immediately preceded Roosevelt in the lineage of presidents. This will probably be the only list where Hoover is ranked above FDR, which shows his financial acumen as a cut above his successor.
#6 – Lyndon Baines Johnson (Net Worth: $98 Million)
Lyndon Baines Johnson, who is more commonly known as LBJ, was on pace to not even need politics to establish great wealth; his father was already very well off, making LBJ’s future wealth to be deemed as his inheritance. Unfortunately for Johnson, his father went broke while he was very young, but he rebounded nicely after graduating from college. Johnson would eventually buy a wide variety of companies to further diversify his assets, and owned everything from media stations to livestock. In fact, Johnson owned more than 1,000 acres to keep the livestock he purchased and used it much to his benefit.
Needless to say, Johnson accrued his own mass wealth without receiving inheritance from his once wealthy father. LBJ actually had more money than John F. Kennedy at the time he served as JFK’s Vice President. Johnson would later become President after Kennedy’s assassination and held the position for six years. He would even win his re-election over Barry Goldwater in one of the biggest landslide victories ever.
#5 – James Madison (Net Worth: $101 Million)
Now, we have to travel over 100 years in history for the rest of the presidents on our list. Coming in at number five is James Madison, who was the fourth President of the United States and served from 1809 to 1817. Madison was a plantation owner during the slave period of American history and had thousands of acres of land to his name. Owning land should have been enough to establish his wealth and get him onto this list, but those in office were paid much more, proportionately, in the 1800’s and prior. The Top 10 Richest U.S.A. Presidents In History
Madison served as the Secretary of State and then went on to be elected President. Since the population was low, public services were minimal and the territory was smaller, which led to a larger chunk of the nation’s money going to pay the President. Madison was one of the last beneficiaries of this massive salary, but actually ended up having far less money at the time of his death when his plantation started to suffer.
#4 – Andrew Jackson (Net Worth: $119 Million)
Andrew Jackson is another early president who also doubled as a slave owner and served the country from 1829 to 1837. Jackson joined the military at a very young age, which is where he made a lot of his personal fortune as he continued to move up the ranks of the new nation’s defense service. During his youth, Jackson married Rachel Jackson (the second one, not the first), who was also very wealthy.
Jackson’s plantation was over 1,000 acres in size and he also owned a few hundred slaves before his death. While Jackson was incredibly wealthy while serving in office, he met the same fate as Andrew Jackson as the two died with almost no money to their names. Jackson can currently be seen on the $20 bill, which is pretty much the extent of his legacy. Still, in hindsight, it is not a terrible way to be remembered as president.
#3 – Theodore Roosevelt (Net Worth: $125 Million)
Theodore Roosevelt, more commonly known as Teddy, had a rollercoaster financial life. Roosevelt came from a very wealthy family that easily established a sizeable future net worth for him. However, Roosevelt was not able to receive the majority of that money, as he lost almost all of it when he ventured into the sparse North and South Dakota areas to become a rancher. When his attempt at ranching failed, Roosevelt started working as a writer to earn some of the money back.
Shortly after, Roosevelt became a member of office and spent his time serving in such roles for just about the rest of his life. Roosevelt served as president from 1901 to 1909 and made a substantial amount of money during his tenure. A lot of his net worth from the latter parts of his life came from his valuable real estate that sat on over 200 acres in Long Island, which is one of the most expensive areas of the country.
#2 – Thomas Jefferson (Net Worth: $212 Million)
Jefferson served as the third President of the United States and was in office from 1801 to 1809. Jefferson’s father left him a great deal of fortune, but not in the most honorable way. Jefferson was given more than 3,000 acres and about 40 slaves when his father passed away. The Top 10 Richest U.S.A. Presidents In History By the time Jefferson was elected as President, he was in charge of a plantation that was more than twice that size and featured one of the most notable buildings in the country.
Jefferson was one of the founding fathers of America and made a massive salary while in public office. Like many of the other presidents of the early era, the money dried up near the end of their lives and Jefferson was no exception as he was another one of the former Heads of State who went into tremendous debt. Thanks to his legacy, we remember Jefferson more for his time as President and one of the founding fathers of this great country.
#1 – George Washington (Net Worth: $525 Million)
The richest president of all-time just happens to be the first president in the history of the United States. Washington was the sole operator of Mount Vernon, which was a plantation that housed multiple farms on more than 7,500 acres of land. Mount Vernon also had a few hundred slaves on hand to keep things running smoothly. Because of this success at Mount Vernon, Washington owned a lot of the land and money in the early formation of America during his tenure as the first president.
In addition to his own wealth, Washington also married into a wealthy family. His wife, Martha, received much of the land that her parents once owned. Like presidents in the early history of the United States, Washington also earned the biggest salary in proportion to the nation’s budget, as he received two percent of what America had set aside for overall spending. This dominance of wealth made Washington worth $525 million in today’s money, the most for any president throughout history.
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