The current salary for POTUS is $400,000 a year, and in comparison to many top-earning Americans, this is pretty mild. However, you probably didn’t know that presidential compensation isn’t just limited to that salary every year. They get basically worldwide fame, adding to their small fortunes. They get book deals, speaking engagements, and some even become involved in the real-estate market post-White House. Here are some of the most popular presidents’ net worth ranked from least to greatest. Some of these might really surprise you!
20. Abraham Lincoln-$1 Million
Just because he was an incredibly memorable president, doesn’t mean he was exactly wealthy. Before becoming POTUS, he was just a humble attorney, and he owned a pretty modest single-family home in Illinois.
19. Jimmy Carter- $8 Million
Talk about humbling beginnings, Jimmy Carter was a farmer before becoming president. Yes, you did indeed read that right, our 39th president was raised by a wealthy family of peanut farmers in Georgia. He made most of his money post-presidency from the 14 books he wrote.
18. Gerald Ford-$8 Million
Gerald Ford had no inheritance whatsoever and had spent most of his life in public service. He served on the board of several prominent companies and made money off of a book deal.
17. Dwight Eisenhower-$9 Million
Like Ford, Eisenhower had no inheritance awaiting him. His fortune was amassed through his military career and before becoming the president, he served as General of the Army. He also owned an estate near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
16. Ronald Reagan-$14 Million
Ronald Reagan, the infamous actor turned politician turned president. Reagan also didn’t receive an inheritance and made his big bucks through real estate, an autobiography, and by serving as the GE spokesperson. Let’s not forget that his first wife was also an incredibly wealthy woman.
15. Richard Nixon-$17 Million
The majority of Nixon’s big fortune came from book deals, interviews, and real estate investments.
14. George H.W. Bush-$26 Million
Bush was born to a successful senator and businessman, so he inherited much of his wealth. However, he did continue to stretch it through his own profitable investments.
13. Martin Van Buren-$29 Million
Van Buren made most of his money as an attorney, and from owning a 225-acre estate in upstate New York.
12. George W. Bush-$39 Million
Yes, most of his fortune came from being born into a wealthy family and so he made a significant amount of his fortune working in the oil business. Yet, his largest contributor to his wealth were the proceeds from his sale of the Texas Rangers baseball team.
11. Barack Obama-$40 Million
Unlike many of the other U.S presidents, Obama wasn’t born into wealth. In fact, his net worth increased a significant amount when he was given the title of POTUS. After his presidency, he was able to secure multiple book deals and speaking engagements.
10. Franklin D. Roosevelt-$66 Million
Most of his millions came from his inheritance and marriage. Like many other presidents, he owned an estate as well as other properties in Georgia, Maine, and New York.
9. Bill Clinton-$75 Million
Since taking office in 1993, Bill Cliton has increased his net worth by 6,150 percent. Both him and Hillary have made millions on speeches, earning about $210,795 per address according to CNN.
8. Herbert Hoover-$82 Million
Hoover made his millions as an executive at a mining company, as well as from his estate, Hoover House. When he became president, he decided to donate his entire salary to charity.
7. Lyndon B. Johnson-$108 Million
Lyndon Johnson is a self made man, and he was also no as fortunate as his fellow presidents. He did not inherit a fortune, and him and his wife worked tirelessly. In the end, that work paid off, and the pair eventually owned a radio and television station in Texas, livestock, and a private aircraft.
6. James Madison-$112 Million
Although Madison lost most of his wealth at the end of his life because of the crash of his plantation, there was one point where James Madison was the largest landowner in Orange County, Virginia.
5. Andrew Jackson-$131 Million
Jackson was one of the wealthiest presidents of the 1800s, and he was even fortunate enough to marry into wealth. He invested large sums into property, and owned more than 300 slaves. Unfortunately, he went into deep debt later on in his life.
4. Thomas Jefferson-$234 Million
Jefferson like many other presidents, inherited a great deal of his fortune from his father. After making money in various political positions before becoming president, he was able to purchase land of his own.
3. George Washington-$580 Million
Much of Washington’s money came from his enormous property, Mount Vernon. His salary was also a whopping 2 percent of the United States budget back in 1789.
2. John F. Kennedy-$1 Billion
JFK’s inheritance came from a trust that was shared with multiple members of his family. Although he never actually inherited his father’s fortune, the family estate was estimated to be worth $1 billion.