The Wealth of U.S. Presidents

Written by Carly Hallman

Who is the richest president of the United States? Most presidents are not billionaires, but most of them are, at the very least, millionaires. Are all presidents rich? How much do they make? We’ve created a list of wealthiest presidents of the United States ranked by their estimated net worth in modern dollars, and we’ve also included their salaries. Is there a correlation between the wealthiest American presidents and the greatest leaders in our history? Let’s find out!

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Who Was the Wealthiest President of the United States?

The wealthiest president in U.S. history is Donald Trump, who’s been valued at $3.7 billion, though he has been losing money since he took office. He’s a darling of Wall Street rather than Washington, and voters supported his talk of ruthless tactics and “deals” to improve the federal government, to mixed results.

Is Trump the richest president ever? Yes, by a great deal, as he received his wealth long before taking office. The next closest in the line of richest American presidents was the also independently wealthy George Washington, who was valued at an estimated $580 million in 2016 dollars, so our richest presidents so far have been the first president and the last.

Top 10 Wealthiest Presidents

Among the other wealthiest U.S. presidents are many of the founding fathers, but since calculating their value in 2016 dollars is difficult, it’s not an exact science. Among the more recent rich presidents are Bill Clinton and Franklin D. Roosevelt, both of whom earned more than $50 million.

  1. Donald Trump: Net worth $3.7 billion
  2. George Washington: Net worth $580 million
  3. Thomas Jefferson: Net worth $234 million
  4. Theodore Roosevelt: Net worth $138 million
  5. Andrew Jackson: Net worth $131 million
  6. James Madison: Net worth $112 million
  7. Lyndon B. Johnson: Net worth $108 million
  8. Herbert Hoover: Net worth $82 million
  9. Bill Clinton: Net worth $75 million
  10. Franklin D. Roosevelt: Net worth $66 million

Who Was the Poorest President of the United States?

Harry S. Truman is considered by most to be the poorest president. U.S. history experts know that Truman was poor throughout his life, and he had several failed business ventures and debts on his back that took him perilously close to bankruptcy. It’s due to him that the presidential salary was doubled later on, in 1969. He and his wife were also the first official recipients of Medicare.

Truman, who took office after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, had a fairly successful presidency, dealing with the end of World War II and the beginning of the Korean War, yet he was the poorest U.S. president. It’s a bit unreasonable to say, then, that our best presidents were the richest.

The Top 10 Poorest Presidents

Despite appearances, wealth is not a qualifying factor for being president, and quite frequently, we have presidents of very modest means. There was an era in which the presidency was considered a job for the everyman, mostly lawyers and soldiers, like Buchanan, Garfield, Grant, and the great Abraham Lincoln himself. While no one can argue that these power players didn’t passionately perform while in office, these gentleman didn’t exactly make bank. Here are the 10 poorest U.S. presidents:

  1. Harry S. Truman: Net worth of less than $1 million
  2. Abraham Lincoln: Net worth of less than $1 million
  3. Andrew Johnson: Net worth of less than $1 million
  4. Ulysses S. Grant: Net worth of less than $1 million
  5. James Buchanan: Net worth of less than $1 million
  6. Calvin Coolidge: Net worth of less than $1 million
  7. Woodrow Wilson: Net worth of less than $1 million
  8. Chester A. Arthur: Net worth of less than $1 million
  9. James A. Garfield: Net worth of less than $1 million
  10. Warren G. Harding: Net worth of about $1 million

What Is the President of the United States’ salary?

The president’s salary is currently $400,000 per year, but that doesn’t include expense allowances, which include a $100,000 travel account and a $19,000 entertainment account. It also doesn’t include the Secret Service funds needed to keep the president and their family safe, Air Force One costs, and numerous other costs billed to the American public. The current richest president, Trump, has been praised for promising to donate his entire presidential salary, but he’s also been criticized for needlessly depleting funds for the Secret Service due to his family’s travel.

Many presidents make most of their wealth after leaving office due to book deals, speaking fees, and other public appearances. Due to the Former Presidents Act, past presidents also get a hefty pension, Secret Service protection for life, and many other benefits.

The $400,000 salary hasn’t always been that high: The president’s salary was $25,000 in 1789, then was increased to $50,000 in 1873, $75,000 in 1909, $100,000 in 1949, $200,000 in 1969, and $400,000 in 2001. Given how stressful the job is for the U.S. president, salary changes might be normal and needed within the next 20 years or so.

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