The Ten Richest U.S. Presidents

TALK ABOUT YOUR 1% – if elected president, Mitt Romney would be wealthier than any president except one – George Washington was worth over half a billion in today’s dollars.

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% of the total U.S. budget in  1789.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 autobiography. His wife, the current  Secretary of State, also has earned money as an author.

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 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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