May 16, 2022 Last Updated 07:46 AM EDT

Personal Finance

10 Wealthiest U.S. Presidents

Dec 08, 2015 07:08 AM EST

Being President of the United States is the 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.

This is 24/7 Wall St.'s list of the wealthiest U.S. presidents:

10. John Fitzgerald Kennedy

  • Net worth: $1 billion (never inherited his father's fortune)
  • In office: 1961 - 1963
  • 35th president

Born into great wealth, Kennedy's wife was an oil heiress. His father was one of the wealthiest men in America, as well as was the first chairman of the SEC. Almost all of JFK's income and property came from a trust shared with other family members.

9. William Jefferson Clinton

  • Net worth: $38 million
  • In office: 1993 - 2001
  • 42nd president

Unlike other presidents, Clinton did not inherit any wealth and gained little net worth during 20 plus years of public service. After his time in the White House, however, he earned a substantial income as an author and public speaker. Clinton received a large advance for his autobiography. His wife, the current Secretary of State, also has earned money as an author.

8. Franklin Delano Roosevelt

  • Net worth: $60 million
  • In office: 1933 - 1945
  • 32nd president

Roosevelt's wealth came through inheritance and marriage. He owned the 800-acre Springwood estate, as well as properties in Georgia, Maine and New York. In 1919, his mother had to bail him out of financial difficulty. He spent most of his adult life in public service. Before he was president, Roosevelt was appointed assistant secretary of the Navy by President Wilson.

7. Herbert Clark Hoover

  • Net worth: $75 million
  • In office: 1929 - 1933
  • 31st president

An orphan, Hoover was raised by his uncle, a doctor. He made a fortune as a mining company executive. He had a very large salary for 17 years and had extensive holdings in mining companies. Hoover donated his presidential salary to charity. He also owned "Hoover House" in Monterey, Calif.

6. Lyndon Baines Johnson

  • Net worth: $98 million
  • In office: 1963 - 1969
  • 36th president

Johnson's father lost all of the family's money when LBJ was a boy. Over time, he accumulated 1,500 acres in Blanco County, Tex., which included his home, called the "Texas White House." He and his wife owned a radio and television station in Austin, Tex., and had a variety of other moderate holdings, including livestock and private aircraft.

5. James Madison

  • Net worth: $101 million
  • In office: 1809 - 1817
  • 4th president

Madison was the largest landowner in Orange County, Va. His land holding consisted of 5,000 acres and the Montpelier estate. He made significant wealth as Secretary of State and president. Madison lost money at the end of his life due to the steady financial collapse of his plantation.

4. Andrew Jackson

  • Net worth: $119 million
  • In office: 1829 - 1837
  • 7th president

While he was considered to be in touch with the average middle class American, Jackson quietly became one of the wealthiest presidents of the 1800s. "Old Hickory" married into wealth and made money in the military. His homestead, The Hermitage, included 1,050 acres of prime real estate. Over the course of his life, he owned as many as 300 slaves. Jackson entered considerable debt later in life.

3. Theodore Roosevelt

  • Net worth: $125 million
  • In office: 1901 - 1909
  • 26th president

Born to a prominent and wealthy family, Roosevelt received a sizable 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.

2. Thomas Jefferson

  • Net worth: $212 million
  • In office: 1801 - 1809
  • 3rd president

Jefferson was left 3,000 acres and several dozen slaves by his father. Monticello, his home on a 5,000-acre plantation in Virginia, was one of the architectural wonders of its time. He made considerable money in various political positions before becoming president, but was mired in debt towards the end of his life.

1. George Washington

  • Net worth: $525 million
  • In office: 1789 - 1797
  • 1st president

His Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon, consisted of five separate farms on 8,000 acres of prime farmland, run by more than 300 slaves. His wife, Martha Washington, inherited significant property from her father. Washington made well more than subsequent presidents: his salary was 2 percent of the total U.S. budget in 1789.

According to MYFIRSTCLASSLIFE , president Obama receives a salary of $400,000 a year as a president. This amount is enough for a president to meet his personal and family needs, as well as for his preferred lifestyle luxuries. President Obama current net worth is $7 million, which has increased from $1.3 million prior to being elected to the office. Even as a multi-millionaire, though, President Obama does not come anywhere near the list of top 10 wealthiest presidents in the history of the United States.

NBC News says that first few presidents - from Washington's elections to about 75 years later were large landowners. They made their money from land, crops and commodity speculation. Of course, this left them highly vulnerable to poor crop yields, and they could lose most or all of their properties because of a few bad years

By 1850, the financial history of the presidency entered a new era. Beginning with Millard Fillmore, most presidents were lawyers who spent years in public service. They rarely amassed large fortunes and their incomes were often almost entirely from their salaries. These American presidents were distinctly middle class and often retired without the means to support themselves anywhere close to the presidential lifestyle.

There was another significant change to the economy, at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Large, professionally organized corporations in the oil, mining, financial and railroad sectors allowed individuals to amass large fortunes. Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and both of the Bushes, were driven by inherited wealth.

It is clear that many of the presidents on the list come from very old money with family inheritance being a major contributor to their individual wealth.

Must Read

Real Time Analytics