Special Report

The Net Worth of the American Presidents: Washington to Trump

Source: iip-photo-archive / Flickr

11th: James Knox Polk
> Est. peak net worth: $11.3 million
> In office: 1845-1849

Like his wife, Sarah Childress, James Polk’s father was a wealthy plantation owner and speculator. Polk’s salaries as speaker of the house and governor of Tennessee contributed to his wealth. He owned over 900 acres in Mississippi. He also owned dozens of slaves.

Source: National Archives / Getty Images

12th: Zachary Taylor
> Est. peak net worth: $7.2 million
> In office: 1849-1850

Zachary Taylor grew up on a plantation and would go on to own significant amounts of land, including property in Mississippi, Kentucky, and Louisiana. His successful land speculation deals also added to his wealth.

Source: iip-photo-archive / Flickr

13th: Millard Fillmore
> Est. peak net worth: $4.1 million
> In office: 1850-1853

Neither Millard Fillmore nor his wife had significant inheritances. Fillmore founded a college that is the currently the State University of New York at Buffalo, and his primary holding was a house in nearby East Aurora, New York.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

14th: Franklin Pierce
> Est. peak net worth: $2.0 million
> In office: 1853-1857

Franklin Pierce’s father was a politician, and his wife’s father was the former president of Bowdoin College, Pierce’s alma mater. He had a background in law and held property in Concord, New Hampshire.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

15th: James Buchanan
> Est. peak net worth: less than $1 million
> In office: 1857-1861

Born in a log cabin in Pennsylvania, James Buchanan was one of 11 children. He was the only president never to marry. He worked as an attorney before ascending through the ranks of politics as a state representative, U.S. congressman, senator, foreign minister, and secretary of state before becoming president. With most of life in public service and not coming for a wealthy family, Buchanan never accumulated much wealth.