America's richest presidents not always rich
By Dian Vujovich
Having money can certainly make life less stressful but it’s no guarantee that you won’t have money woes to face—even if you’re president.
A recent online story at 24/7.com took a look at which of our previous presidents were the wealthiest. One curious thing about that list of 10 is while some had plenty of moola, their means didn’t prevent them from facing financial challenges, bankruptcy or going broke.
Here, according to 24/7.com is their list of the wealthiest U.S. Presidents to date:
1.George Washington. Net worth: $525 million. In office: 1789 – 1797 and our 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 salary was 2% of the total U.S. budget in 1789.
2.Thomas Jefferson.Net worth: $212 million. In office: 1801 – 1809 and our 3rd president. Jefferson was left 3,000 acres and several dozen slaves by his father. He made considerable money in various political positions before becoming president, but was mired in debt towards the end of his life.
3.Theodore Roosevelt. Net worth: $125 million. In office: 1901 – 1909 and our 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. His 235-acre estate, Sagamore Hill, sits on some of the most valuable real estate on Long Island.
4. Andrew Jackson. Net worth: $119 million. In office: 1829 – 1837 and our 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.
5.James Madison. Net worth: $101 million. In office: 1809 – 1817 and our 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.
6.Lyndon Baines Johnson. Net worth: $98 million. In office: 1963 – 1969 and our 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.
7.Herbert Clark Hoover. Net worth: $75 million. In office: 1929 – 1933 and our 31st president. Hoover, an orphan, 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.
8.Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Net worth: $60 million. In office: 1933 – 1945 and our 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.
9. William Jefferson Clinton. Net worth: $38 million. In office: 1993 – 2001 and our 42nd president. 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, public speaker and received a large advance for autobiography.
10. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Net worth: $1 billion dollars (never inherited his father’s fortune). In office: 1961 – 1963 and our 35th president. Born into great wealth, Kennedy’s wife was 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.
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