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Here’s a List of America’s Top 10 Richest Presidents of All Time

Founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison all came from wealthy land-owning families

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Richest, US, Presidents
From the earliest days of the republic, rich white men have had a disproportionate say in the fate of the country. Pixabay

From the earliest days of the republic, rich white men have had a disproportionate say in the fate of the country. Founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison all came from wealthy land-owning families.

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:

Richest, US, Presidents
Donald Trump was born into wealth and inherited at least $413 million from his father. Pixabay

#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.

Richest, US, Presidents
John F. Kennedy was born into money and all of his wealth was inherited. VOA

#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.

 

Richest, US, Presidents
The nation’s first president inherited most of his wealth. VOA

#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.

Richest, US, Presidents
Thomas Jefferson inherited 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) of land near Charlottesville. Pixabay

#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.

Richest, US, Presidents
Theodore Roosevelt inherited a large trust fund and did little to increase his wealth. VOA

#5 Theodore Roosevelt
Peak net worth: $139.7 million
26th president (1901-1909)

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.

Richest, US, Presidents
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. VOA

#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.

Richest, US, Presidents
James Madison’s parents were extremely wealthy and owned several hectares of land. VOA

#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.

Richest, US, Presidents
Lyndon Johnson was a hardworking ambitious young man without much money until he met and married Claudia. Pixabay

#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.

Richest, US, Presidents
Herbert Hoover was truly a self-made man. VOA

#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.

Richest, US, Presidents
Bill Clinton made his money after leaving office, earning millions from his 2005 autobiography, My Life. VOA

#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. (VOA)

Next Story

Fatal Drug Overdoses Decline in US; First Drop in Two Decades

The trend was driven by a steep decline in deaths linked to prescription painkillers

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fatal drug
FILE - A billboard advertising treatment for opioid addiction stands in Dickson, Tenn., June 7, 2017. VOA

Fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. declined by 5.1 percent in 2018, according to preliminary official data released Wednesday, the first drop in two decades. The trend was driven by a steep decline in deaths linked to prescription painkillers.

“The latest provisional data on overdose deaths show that America’s united efforts to curb opioid use disorder and addiction are working,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, though he cautioned the epidemic would not be stopped overnight.

The total number of estimated deaths dropped to 68,557 in 2018 against 72,224 the year before, according to the figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But that number is still far higher than the 16,849 overdose deaths in 1999, a figure that rose every year until 2017, with a particularly sharp increase seen from 2014 to 2017.

opioid, fatal drug
Laura Levine prepares to dispense drugs at Vocal NY, an organization that works with addicts, where she is the health educator and coordinator for the opioid reversal drug Narcan, in the Brooklyn borough of New York, March 15, 2019. VOA

Deaths attributed to natural and semisynthetic opioids, such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone and oxymorphone, which are prescribed as painkillers, saw a drop from 14,926 to 12,757, or 14.5 percent.

That was the steepest drop for any category of drug, though deaths linked to synthetic opioids excluding methadone (drugs like tramadol and fentanyl) continued to rise sharply, while cocaine deaths also increased slightly.

Overprescription

The U.S. opioid epidemic is rooted in decades of overprescription of addictive painkillers. The crisis is responsible for about 400,000 deaths involving prescription or illicit opioids, including high-profile victims such as pop icon Prince and rocker Tom Petty.

But there are some signs the tide is beginning to turn.

fatal drug
Bottles of several opioid based medication at a pharmacy in Portsmouth, Ohio, June 21, 2017. VOA

In recent months, federal and state authorities have taken on drug giants in court for allegedly bribing doctors to prescribe their medicines or for deceptive marketing that downplayed the risks of addiction.

ALSO READ: Researchers: The Herb kratom to Treat Pain and Opioid Addiction Not Safe for Use

The overall opioid prescribing rate peaked in 2012 at 81 prescriptions for every 100 Americans and had dropped to 58 by 2017, according to data suggesting that health care providers have become more cautious.

But the amount of opioids prescribed per person is still around three times higher than it was in 1999, according to the CDC, which uses a unit called morphine milligram equivalents (MME) to account for differences in drug type and strength. (VOA)