Who were the 10 wealthiest US presidents?

President John F. Kennedy. (UPI/File)
President John F. Kennedy. (UPI/File) | License Photo

Happy President's Day!

It's a good day to be an American--hello, federal holiday--and even better to be (former) president.


The guys who once occupied the White House tend to rake in a lot of cash once they leave, and many come in with plenty on hand.

The office has almost always been exclusive to those who can afford to costs of running for it, and this year's updated list of the wealthiest presidents shows just how rich those men are. It says something that had he been elected, Mitt Romney, whose extraordinary wealth was one of his most defining traits during the 2012 campaign, would not have topped this list.

(President Obama, with a net worth of $7 million, comes nowhere near ranking in the top 10.)

Read on for the ten richest presidents in U.S. history, in today's dollars, put together by Yahoo's 24/7 Wall Street.


10. John F. Kennedy 35th President Net worth: $1 billion (shared among family, never inherited from his father)

Kenedy's father was one of the wealthiest men in America, and Jacqueline Kennedy's stepfather was the heir to Standard Oil. Although JFK never inherited his father's wealth (hence his lower ranking on this list), the Kennedy family estate was worth $1 billion.

9. Bill Clinton 42nd President Net worth: $55 million

Clinton is an exception, in that he did not come into his presidency with great wealth. But since leaving office, he has earned more than $125 million, mostly from speaking fees. The Clinton's combined wealth is less than it was, due to their personal contributions to the costs of Hillary's 2008 presidential campaign. He is the wealthiest of the living presidents.

8. Franklin D. Roosevelt 32nd President Net worth: $60 million

Most of FDR's money was inherited and his marriage to Eleanor, a distant cousin. Freed from needing to earn a living, Roosevelt dedicated his life to public service, as a state senator in New York, Assistant Secretary of the Navy and governor of New York before he was elected to a remarkable four terms as president.

7. Herbert Hoover 31st President Net worth: $75 million

Hoover was orphaned at the age of nine and paid his way through college at Stanford before making his fortune as a mining engineer. Presiding over the country during the Great Depression, Hoover donated his presidential salary to charity.


6. Lyndon Baines Johnson 36th President Net worth: $98 million

Johnson was born in a farmhouse and briefly worked as a school teacher before running for Congress. He accumulated a huge estate in Texas and he and his wife owned a radio and television station in Austin.

5. James Madison 4th President Net worth $101 million

Like many of the Founding Fathers, Madison was a member of the landed upper class rich. He was the largest landowner in Orange County, Virginia, with his Montpelier estate just 30 miles from Thomas Jefferson's estate and 80 miles from George Washington's home. Although he amassed significant wealth as Secretary of State and as president, Madison lost much of his money later in life.

4. Andrew Jackson 7th President Net worth: $119 million

Despite a reputation for understanding the middle class, Jackson wasn't a member of it. He married into money and earned more in the military. He bought his Tennessee plantation, the Hermitage in 1804 and owned as many as 300 slaves over the course of his life. He died with considerable debt.

3. Theodore Roosevelt 26th President Net worth: $125 million

Like his younger cousin, Teddy Roosevelt's family inheritance helped float a career in public service. Although he lost much of his personal wealth on a ranching venture, he was a popular governor of New York and Vice President to William McKinley. His estate, Sagamore Hill, is on some of Long Island's most valuable property.


2. Thomas Jefferson 3rd President Net worth: $212 million

Jefferson inherited his beloved Monticello estate from his father, earning significantly more as a politician and lawyer both before and after the American Revolution. He was an innovative architect and founded the University of Virginia. In an attempt to pay off his growing debts, he sold off his remarkable book collection to the Library of Congress after its own was lost in a fire.

1. George Washington 1st President Net worth: $525 million

In personal wealth, as in many things, the first president stands head and shoulders above even his peers. Before the Revolution, Washington owned significant portions of Virginia land as tobacco and wheat farms, owing to the wealth he acquired in his marriage to the widow Mary Custis.

Congress voted to pay him $25,000 per year--at the time, something like 2 percent of the infant nation's annual budget, which he reluctantly accepted so as to avoid setting precedent where only those wealthy enough to serve without salary could be president.

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