Richest presidents from Washington to Clinton


(USA TODAY) – Three years ago, 24/7 Wall St. published the net worth of every American president, from George Washington to Barack Obama. We have updated our numbers to reflect the earnings of the still-living presidents. One thing remains clear: it pays to be president, especially after leaving office. 24/7 Wall St. examined the finances of all 43 presidents to identify the richest.

In our updated list, the only currently living president who makes the wealthiest list is Bill Clinton, who has an estimated net worth of $55 million. Clinton continues to make millions of dollars in speaking fees. This January, following an email from Bill Clinton to supporters, Hilary Clinton’s 2008 campaign debt was paid off.

President Obama is not one of the wealthiest presidents of all times. Yet his net worth increased from $5 million in 2010 to an estimated $7 million, primarily from his book sales. If Bill Clinton is any indication, Obama can expect to make much more money in speaking engagements once he exits office in 2017.

The net worth of the presidents varies widely. Washington amassed over half a billion in today’s dollars, while other presidents went bankrupt. The fortunes of America’s presidents are often tied to the economy of their time. Over time, as the focus of the economy has changed, so has the way the presidents made their money.

Richest presidents from Washington to Clinton |


Simplistic version of history and fuzzy math. It’s a set up for Hillary saying they are not part of the evil rich.


Assuming that USA Today did a good job in calculating all these net worths in constant USD, there is still a problem with this comparison that the article acknowledges to some degree. Most of wealth of the top four on the list was their land: illiquid; the value thereof varied considerably over time; the land was their source of income, but an income that would have been very variable; the land would have been used as security for short- and medium-term investing/speculating (often in western land), one source of the debts the article mentioned.

Another issue with the article is that it could have distinguished better among wealth acquired as a consequence of having been POTUS, as a consequence of having been in other high political offices, and as a consequence of non-government activities. It points out the sources of wealth, but a more informative list would have been subdivided among those categories. E.G.: Washington, Jackson, FDR and JFK inherited and/or married into wealth; Hoover was a mining engineer by profession, and made much of his wealth through that profession (salaries and investments); LBJ and WJC made their wealth as a consequence of their political power (both) and having been POTUS (WJC).

I’m mildly surprised, given Ds’ howling at the speaker’s fees he earned after being POTUS and given his wealth prior to going into politics, that Ronald Reagan didn’t make the “Top 10”. I didn’t see a link in the article to a complete list for all historic POTUSes, so I suppose it is possible that Reagan might have been #11 or #12.


It’s a set up for Hillary saying they are not part of the evil rich.

Ummmm … Clinton was #10 on the list, making WJC and HRC 2%ers among POTUSes.