The Richest Presidents in US History

Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, US. Editorial credit: Glynnis Jones /
Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, US. Editorial credit: Glynnis Jones /

The president of the United States earns an annual basic salary of $400,000 plus $50,000 in expense allowance, $100,000 non-taxable travel allowance, and a $19,000 entertainment allowance. But that has not always been the case; George Washington earned an average of $25,000, which sounds minuscule, but the amount translates to $669,469 in 2018 dollars. In 2001, Congress approved a 100% salary increase raising the salary of the president from $200,000 to $400,000. However, most presidents had larger bank accounts than their salaries could account for. Presidents before 1845 were wealthy because most were landowners with vast acres of plantations and some even owned slaves. All the presidents after 1929 were millionaires except for Harry Truman because they made income from autobiographies and businesses. Bill Clinton made more money from public speaking than he made while in office. Donald Trump is the wealthiest president in American history. Although the exact figure is not readily available, it is estimated at $3.1 billion making him wealthier than all former presidents combined.

The Richest Presidents In US History

Donald Trump

The 45th president of the United States is believed to be worth about $3.1-$3.7 billion but some claim that is worth over $8 billion. Regardless of the actual figure, it is uncontested that he is the wealthiest person to occupy the White House. Donald Trump owns golf courses and real estates across the world.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK)

JFK, who served as the 35th president before his assassination, was estimated to be worth roughly $1.3 billion. Much of the fortune was created by his father Joseph Kennedy and was owned through the family’s trust. JFK’s wife Jacqueline Bouvier was also from a wealthy family and inherited her stepfather’s oil fortune.

George Washington

Washington was the first president of the United States and remained the wealthiest president for a very long time. Apart from his presidential earnings, Washington owned more than 50,000 acres of plantation, all of which culminated to about $587 million.

Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson was the third president, but more importantly, he wrote the Declaration of Independence. He made his money by inheriting property from his father including the Monticello Estate with over 3000 acres and several slaves. Jefferson made several bad investments, and by the time of his death, he was drowning in debt. Regardless of this, he was still valued at about $236 million.

Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt, the 26th president, was part of a wealthy family, and much of what he owned came from inheritance. Although he valued at about $125 million, he did not possess excellent entrepreneurial skills and ended up losing a lot of it in bad investments in North and South Dakota.

​Poorest American President

Harry Truman was the 33rd president of the United States and is regarded the poorest of the American presidents. Truman had a modest upbringing and did not inherit significant wealth from his parents. His investments and businesses, including an oil and mining company, collapsed subjecting him to financial turmoil. The President was always in debt but did not make a formal application for bankruptcy. After leaving office, Truman moved to his mother-in-law's home with his wife, Bess. Congress approved a presidential pension fund, and Truman received an annual income of about $25000 that kept him afloat.

The Richest Presidents in US History

RankPresidentNet Worth (Millions) Term(s) Served
1Donald Trump3,1002017-present
2John F. Kennedy1,1001961–1963
3George Washington5871789–1797
4Thomas Jefferson2361801–1809
5Theodore Roosevelt1391901–1909
6Andrew Jackson1321829–1837
7James Madison1131809–1817
8Lyndon B. Johnson1091963–1969
9Herbert Hoover831929–1933
10Bill Clinton751993–2001
11Franklin D. Roosevelt661933–1945
12John Tyler571841–1845
13Barack Obama402009–2017
14George W. Bush392001–2009
15James Monroe301817–1825

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