The richest presidents rarely got rich off of politics. While many ended up broke or struggling to get by after the presidency, others went on to become even wealthier than ever before. Of course, everyone knows the president is paid a stipend even after they leave the White House, but that still wouldn’t make them very rich. Before Richard Nixon, many presidents earned cash through marriage, investments, or owning land. Modern-day presidents make a pretty penny with speaking engagements and book deals. Curious to see who ranks at the top of the most wealthy? Here are the 25 Richest Presidents In US History.
Please note that net worth figures are in today’s dollars.
Gerald Ford - $7 Million
Gerald Ford made a life-long career in politics before reaching the highest office in the land. While his presidency was created out of Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal, Ford used it to his advantage and figured out how to use the presidency to create a whole lot of money by getting paid at events and sitting on corporate boards. Within a year of leaving office, he had earned $1 million, bringing his total net worth to $7 million.
Dwight Eisenhower - $8 Million
Dwight Eisenhower never had any inherited wealth and was a life-long military man, helping America win World War II. It’s assumed his wealth came from the military and the large farm he owned near Gettysburg, Pennslyvania.
James K. Polk - $11 Million
James K. Polk inherited some of his wealth from his wealthy father but also earned even more money from being the speaker of the house, governor of Tennessee, and owning 920 acres of land.
Barack Obama - $12 Million
Barack Obama made significantly less money before and as President than afterward. Once he left the White House, his net worth skyrocketed with the high price tag book signings and speeches. In total, his current net worth is estimated to be $12 million.
Ronald Reagan - $15 Million
As a longtime actor turned politician, Ronald Reagan built quite a large sum of money before entering the White House. He had around $11 million to his name at the time of his election and grew that to $15 million by the time of his death.
Richard Nixon - $17 Million
Richard Nixon became monstrously more wealthy after becoming President than before, racking up $17 million by the time of his death. He accrued most of it through tax write-offs and real estate investments.
John Adams - $19 Million
While John Adams was a lawyer, politician, and second President of the United States, most of his wealth came from a hefty inheritance, his wife being a member of a prestigious family, and his 40-acre farm known as Peacefield. He had a $19 million net worth.
John Quincy Adams - $23 Million
Son of John Adams, John Quincy Adams essentially inherited all of his father’s wealth and land while also benefiting from his wife’s wealthy heritage as well. His net worth was $23 million in total.
George H.W. Bush - $26 Million
Graduating from Yale University, George H.W. Bush became a millionaire at the age of 40 through the oil industry, but it was after the presidency that his wealth skyrocketed due to paid speeches. His net worth at the present time is $26 million.
James Monroe - $27 Million
James Monroe married into wealth but also gained a significant sum during his time as president. Unfortunately, he retired in extreme debt and had to sell off his 3,500 acres. Still, he left with a net worth of $27 million.
Grover Cleveland - $28 Million
Most of Grover Cleveland’s $28 million wealth came from the practice of the law, but he was also married to the daughter of a wealthy lawyer and sold off an estate near Washington D.C. for a large profit.
Martin Van Buren - $29 Million
Martin Van Buren made most of his wealth off of his successful career as a lawyer and politician. He raked in the large sum of $29 million when all was said and done.
George W. Bush - $35 Million
George W. Bush earned much of his wealth from the oil industry, creating his own oil company called Bush Exploration. However, in his post-presidency, he also raked in a solid income from speaking engagements and being an owner of the Texas Rangers. His net worth is currently at $35 million.
John Tyler - $57 Million
The first man to become president due to the death of another president, John Tyler’s wealth was acquired more from marriage and inheritance than politics. His father gave him a 1,000-acre tobacco plantation and his wife was also rather wealthy. His net worth was $57 million.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt - $60 Million
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born into immense wealth and privilege. His father’s and mother’s sides of the family were both particularly wealthy, especially the Delanos. He also gained an enormous wealth from his marriage to Eleanor. Overall, his net worth reached $60 million.
Herbert Hoover - $75 Million
Herbert Hoover gained all of his wealth through the mining industry. He was a mining company executive and had several holdings in other mining companies. During his presidency, he gave away his Presidential salary to charity. His total net worth was $75 million.
Bill Clinton - $80 Million
Bill Clinton’s wealth primarily comes from book sales, speaking engagements, and consulting fees. He’s paid between $150,000 to $700,000 per speech. His overall net worth is $80 million.
Lyndon Baines Johnson - $98 Million
Lyndon Baines Johnson didn’t inherit his wealth as his father lost most of his when LBJ was just a boy. However, over time Johnson was able to buy 1,500 acres of land and a radio and television station. He also had holdings in livestock and private aircrafts. He had a net worth of $98 million.
James Madison - $101 Million
Being the largest landowner in Orange County, Virginia, with over 5,000 acres, it’s safe to say James Madison was extremely wealthy. He also made significant wealth in his political life as secretary of state and president. While he lost some of his wealth at the end of his life, he still had a net worth of $101 million.
Andrew Jackson - $119 million
Many during his time considered Andrew Jackson to be deeply connected with the everyman, but he still amassed a great deal of wealth in his lifetime. He made his money through the military, marrying into wealth, and buying large sums of land. His total net worth was $119 million.
Theodore Roosevelt - $125 Million
Being part of a wealthy family, most of Theodore Roosevelt’s wealth came from his inheritance. While he had a net worth of $125 million, he wasn’t very good with money and lost a lot of it on a bad investment in the Dakotas.
Thomas Jefferson - $212 Million
The writer of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson made most of his money through an inheritance from his father. He gained the Monticello Estate which had 3,000 acres and several dozen slaves. By the end of his life, he was drowning in debt. All things considered, his net worth still came out to $212 million.
George Washington - $525 Million
George Washington, of course, was the United States’ first president, and for a long time, he remained the wealthiest president. He earned one of the largest salaries in U.S. history as well as owned 50,000 acres of land. It all culminated into a whopping $525 million net worth.
John F. Kennedy - $1 Billion
John F. Kennedy’s net worth is a tricky subject as much of it depends on what he would have received from his father’s inheritance if he hadn’t died. He also married into money with Jacqueline. Taking into account his inheritance, it’s estimated JFK had a net worth of $1 billion.
Donald Trump - $3.1 Billion
Donald Trump is hands down the wealthiest United States president in history and will likely keep that spot for some time. Before becoming president, he inherited a great deal from his father and invested much of it in real estate and resorts. His total net worth is $3.1 billion.