Special Report

The Net Worth of the American Presidents: Washington to Trump

Source: Washington Bureau / Getty Images

37th: Richard Milhous Nixon
> Est. peak net worth: $17.4 million
> In office: 1969-1974

Richard Nixon was born into a working-class family, to parents who ran a grocery store and a gas station. He was a public servant for most of his life, also serving several years as a U.S. senator from California. Nixon made significant sums from a 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, New Jersey. At various times, Nixon also owned real estate in California and Florida.

Source: iip-photo-archive / Flickr

38th: Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr.
> Est. peak net worth: $8.2 million
> In office: 1974-1977

Gerald Ford had a modest upbringing and spent virtually his entire adult life in public service. Over the course of his lifetime, he owned properties in Palm Springs, California, and Vail, Colorado. After he left the White House in 1977, he made nearly $1 million within a year from speaking fees and from serving on the boards of several prominent American companies.

Source: Central Press / Getty Images

39th: James Earl Carter
> Est. peak net worth: $8.2 million
> In office: 1977-1981

Jimmy Carter’s father worked as a peanut farmer in rural Georgia and he did not leave the 39th president much of a inheritance. Carter took over the family farm following his father’s death and struggled to make it successful. In his first year on the farm, Carter made just $200, and he and his wife were forced to live in subsidized housing.

Though Carter eventually turned the farm into a successful agriculture business, during his presidency, the business failed as the farm was managed by a blind trust. He left the White House in debt but improved his finances by writing books. Carter and his wife have published more than 30 books.

Source: Getty Images / Getty Images

40th: Ronald Wilson Reagan
> Est. peak net worth: $14.3 million
> In office: 1981-1989

Ronald Reagan had no inheritance, but he made money as a movie and television actor for over two decades. He owned several pieces of real estate over his lifetime, including a 688-acre property near Santa Barbara, California. Reagan was highly paid for his role as a GE spokesman before his political career. He also made significant money from his autobiography.

Source: departmentofenergy / Flickr

41st: George Herbert Walker Bush
> Est. peak net worth: $26.6 million
> In office: 1989-1993

George H.W. Bush, as part of the wealthy and powerful Bush family, has always been well off financially. Bush made his initial fortune running an offshore oil drilling company and owned millions of dollars worth of property, including an estate in Kennebunkport, Maine, which around the time of his death in November 2018, was valued at $13.5 million.