Banking & Finance

The Net Worth Of The American Presidents: Washington To Obama

Michael B. Sauter, Ashley C. Allen, and Douglas A. McIntyre

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Images President (Term) Estimated Net Worth Historical Points of Interest
34th Dwight David Eisenhower (1953-1961) $ 8 million Eisenhower had no inherited wealth. He served the majority of his career in the military and five years as president of Columbia. Ike owned a large farm near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
35th John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1961-1963) Although he never inherited his father’s fortune, the Kennedy family estate was worth nearly $1 billion dollars. Born into great wealth, Kennedy’s wife was oil heiress. His Father was one of the wealthiest men in America, and was the first chairman of the SEC. Almost all of JFK’s income and property came from trust shared with other family members.
36th Lyndon Baines Johnson (1963-1969) $98 Million 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, Texas, which included his home, called the “Texas White House.” He and his wife owned a radio and television station in Austin, TX, and had a variety of other moderate holdings, including livestock and private aircraft.
37th Richard Milhous Nixon (1969-1974) $15 million Nixon was born without any inheritance, and was a public servant for most of his life including a term as a Senator from California. “Tricky Dick” made significant sums from series of interviews with David Frost and book advances. He sold his New York townhouse to the Syrian ambassador to the U.S. and purchased a large home in Saddle River, NJ. At various times, Nixon also owned real estate in California and Florida.
38th Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. (1974-1977) $7 million Ford had no inheritance, and he spent virtually his entire adult life in public service. Over the course of his lifetime, he owned properties in Michigan, Rancho Mirage, and Beaver Creek, Colorado. After he left the White House in 1976, he made nearly $1 million a year from book advances and from serving on the boards of several prominent American companies.
39th James Earl Carter, 1977-1981 $7 million Jimmy Carter, born to a prominent Georgia businessman, was a peanut farmer for almost two decades. Upon his death, Carter inherited very little of his father’s fortune, forcing Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, to live in subsidized housing for a year, the only president to have ever done so. Carter left office deeply in debt but made substantial sums of money from book deals. To date, the Carters have published nearly 30 books. Carter also owns 2,500 acres with his family in Georgia.
40th Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-89 (Republican) $13 million Reagan had no inheritance, but his first wife, an actress, had her own money. He was a movie and television actor for over two decades. “The Gipper” owned several pieces of real estate over his lifetime, including 688-acre property near Santa Barbara, California. Reagan was highly paid for his autobiography and as a GE spokesman.
41st George Herbert Walker Bush (1989-1993) $23 million George H. W. Bush was the son of Prescott Bush, a Connecticut Senator and successful businessman. Aided by friends in the financial community, he made a number of successful investments. One of his major assets is his 100+ acre estate in Kennebunkport, Maine. The property was worth $2.2 million in 1990, and 24/7 Wall St. estimates its current value to be more than $5 million.
42nd William Jefferson Clinton (1993- 2001) $70 million Unlike several presidents, Bill Clinton did not inherit any wealth and gained little net worth during his 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. In 2005, Clinton earned a $15 million advance on his book “My Life.” In March 2014, the former president was paid $500,000 alone to speak in London to Bank of America. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose assets are shared by her husband, has also contributed to the family fortune since leaving office. In 2014, she received a $14 million advance for her autobiography “Hard Choices.” Mrs. Clinton receives similar speaking fees as her husband, albeit at a lesser volume since she began to dedicate more time to her 2016 presidential campaign. According to Mrs. Clinton’s personal financial disclosure with the Federal Election Commission, in just one month in 2014, Mr. Clinton earned more than $1.9 million for just six speeches.
43rd George W. Bush (2001-2008) $35 million Born into a wealthy family, George W. Bush made millions in the oil business. He also made a good deal of money on his investment in the Texas Rangers — approximately $15 million — when the baseball team was sold in 1998. He has continued to increase his wealth since leaving office. We estimate that Bush has made nearly $26 million in speaking fees since leaving the White House. In addition, Bush received a $7 million advance for his memoir “Decision Points,” published in 2010. The book is currently the best-selling presidential memoir ever written. In 2014, Bush published a biography of his father titled “41: A Portrait of my Father”, that will likely add to his net worth in the future. In 2009, the former president and his wife purchased an 8,500 square foot house in the upscale Dallas neighborhood of Preston Hollow, now worth approximately $2.6 million according to housing website Zillow. In 2010, they purchased and tore down a home in an adjacent lot.
44th Barack Hussein Obama (2008-present) $7 million Barack Obama receives a salary of $400,000 a year as the current president. The president’s annual income actually dropped steadily since he entered office. In 2009, the president earned $3.3 million in income after taxes. That figure fell to less than $600,000 in 2012, and fell again in 2013, when the Obamas reported income of $503,183. This is primarily due to revenue declining from his prior book deals, “The Audacity of Hope” and “Dreams from My Father.” Obama is paying 5.625% interest on the 30-year mortgage on his Chicago home, which is worth between $500,000 and $1 million, according to financial forms disclosed by the White House last year. While he admitted he would save money if he refinanced his mortgage, he said, “when you’re president you have to be a little careful about these transactions.”