Money and connections have long helped scions of America’s wealthiest families realize their presidential dreams. These political dynasties include the Adams and the Bushes. However, not all of America’s presidents started off rich; some made all of their money after serving as commander in chief. The annual salary for the president of the United States is $400,000.
24/7 Wall Street analyzed the finances of American presidents and adjusted the figures for inflation to December 2018 levels. The online financial news company considered assets such as real estate, work savings, inheritance, book royalties, ownership of companies, profits from family estates, and other forms of income.
Here’s 24/7’s list of America’s Top 10 richest presidents of all time — with their net worth adjusted for inflation:
President Donald Trump talks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before departing for his Bedminster, N.J. golf club, July 5, 2019, in Washington.
#1 Donald J. Trump
Peak net worth: $3.1 billion
45th president (2017-
Donald Trump was born into wealth and inherited at least $413 million from his father, according to the New York Times. He became even richer after taking over his father’s real estate business and now owns billions of dollars in real estate.
President John F. Kennedy
#2 John F. Kennedy
Peak net worth: $1.1 billion
35th president (1961-1963)
John F. Kennedy was born into money and all of his wealth was inherited. His father, Joe Kennedy, was one of the richest men in the United States, having made his money through banking and investing. In addition to his family’s wealth, Kennedy’s wife, Jackie, also had big bucks; she was an oil heiress.
President George Washington, painting by British painter Robert Edge Pine.
#3 George Washington
Peak net worth: $587 million
1st president (1789-1797)
The nation’s first president inherited most of his wealth. George Washington inherited his lucrative plantation, Mount Vernon, from his half-brother. He also earned good money as a general and then as president. Washington’s presidential salary in 1789 was $25,000, which was 2% of the total U.S. budget.
Portrait of Jefferson by Thomas Sully, 1821
#4 Thomas Jefferson
Peak net worth: $236.8 million
3rd president (1801-1809)
Thomas Jefferson inherited 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) of land near Charlottesville, Virginia, from his father. He added 809 more hectares (2,000 acres) to his real estate portfolio and built his showpiece home Monticello. Although he remained wealthy for most of his life, Jefferson was deeply in debt when he died, in part because income from farming was unreliable and also because Jefferson was a big spender who lived beyond his means.
#5 Theodore Roosevelt
Peak net worth: $139.7 million
Theodore Roosevelt inherited a large trust fund and did little to increase his wealth. Elected to the New York State Assembly at the age of 23, Roosevelt spent most of his adult life in public service. However, he did lose a chunk of his fortune after a ranch investment in the Dakotas went bad.
Andrew Jackson depicted in an 1860 engraving. (Library of Congress)
#6 Andrew Jackson
Peak net worth: $132.6 million
7th president (1829-1837)
Andrew Jackson was one of the relatively few U.S. presidents who was actually born poor and earned his own money through a law practice. However, while he wasn’t born into wealth, Jackson did marry money and inherited a fortune from his wife Rachel when she died shortly before he became president.
#7 James Madison
Peak net worth: $113.3 million
4th president (1809-1817)
James Madison’s parents were extremely wealthy and owned several hectares of land. They had a lucrative plantation in Orange County, Virginia, and built the famed Montpelier estate. However, Madison started to run out of money towards the end of his life. His plantation wasn’t successful and his stepson lost a lot of his stepdad’s cash due to problems with drinking and gambling.
#8 Lyndon B. Johnson
Peak net worth: $109.3 million
36th president (1963-1969)
Lyndon Johnson was a hardworking ambitious young man without much money until he met and married Claudia “Lady Bird” Taylor, who came from a wealthy Texas family. Together, they owned livestock and 607 hectares (1,500 acres) of land in Texas. However, their main source of income was a radio station owned by Lady Bird.
This is a Sept. 1935 photo of former U.S. President Herbert Hoover.
#9 Herbert Hoover
Peak net worth: $83 million
31st president (1929-1933)
Herbert Hoover was truly a self-made man. Orphaned as a child, he graduated from Stanford and worked as a mining engineer before entering politics. He wrote a mining engineering textbook and acquired several Burmese silver mines, which made him rich.
#10 Bill Clinton
Peak net worth: $75.9 million
42nd president (1993- 2001)
Bill Clinton made his money after leaving office, earning millions from his 2005 autobiography, My Life. His wife’s wealth also helps boost the ex-president’s bottom line. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton is thought to have gotten a $14 million advance for her 2014 memoir Hard Choices. Both Clintons have made millions giving paid speeches.