Top 5 Richest Presidents in U.S. History

Posted by - Monday, February 20th, 2012

When the economy has Americans down, many wonder how the President is faring. After all, he is the leader of the nation.

24/7 Wall Street determined the net worth of all 44 U.S. Presidents’ according to assets, savings, company ownership, and inheritance, to put this in perspective.

And it may be surprising that number one was also President number one:

1. George Washington (1789 - 1797): $525 million estimated net wealth

gw horse

Washington had an estimated net worth of $525 million. His Mount Vernon plantation consisted of an enormous plot of land, and his wife had a large inheritance as well. Over all, he did pretty well in his lifetime.

2. Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809): $212 million estimated net wealth

thomas jefferson coin

The nation’s third President was also worth quite a bit in his time. His net worth is put at $212 million, partially due to his inheritance and partially from his own earnings.

But this was the President at his peak. By the time of his death, Jefferson had accrued a large amount of debt.

3. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909): $125 million estimated net wealth

teddy roosevelt

This two-term President was one of the richer in his time. “Teddy” was worth about $125 million.  Born into wealth, his peak worth comes mainly from family money.

Like Jefferson, he didn’t maintain the wealth, however. He invested in a ranch, which wiped a large portion of his money.

4. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837): $119 million estimated net worth

andrew jackson

President Jackson’s net worth was an estimated $119 million, a fact that was little known during his presidency.  His estate was large and his wife’s family was wealthy, but he was known for his affiliation with the middle class.

He fell into debt toward the end of his life, but he had managed to spend quite some time at the higher end.

5. John F. Kennedy (1961-1963): $1 billion for family estate worth

jfk cigar

The 35th President’s position in the ranking is uncertain, though many place him as one of the wealthier presidents.  Though his family estate was worth roughly $1 billion, he did not inherit due to his premature death.

Born in a Log Cabin

And yet some presidents spent their entire lives representing the average American. With a net worth less than $1 million, many of these presidents served in succession, and quite a few were actually born in log cabins: James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, James Garfield, Chester Arthur, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Harry S. Truman.

Presidents Today

President Barack Obama’s worth also seems modest in comparison to the wealthiest. He is estimated at $5 million. He has built this with his own income and with book royalties.

And where do the presidential candidates factor in? Mitt Romney fits in with the forefathers, possibly coming in behind Jefferson. Forbes estimates his worth between $200 million and $250 million.

Other candidates fall into the mid to low range, such as Newt Gingrich, with an estimated $3 million. But if elected, Romney would take presidential wealth back to a much earlier time.

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