The majority of presidents in US history have been quite rich.
By adjusting each president's net worth against today's dollars, most would be considered multimillionaires. Each of the last five presidents has a net worth of at least $ 20 million, adjusted for inflation.
Recent presidents have received multi-million dollar offers on the rights of their memoirs about life in the Oval Office. Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, have signed an agreement worth more than $ 60 million on the rights of their book.
Despite the advantage that those who have money and power in the presidential campaigns, and despite the lucrative opportunities offered to those who have an "ex-president", nine presidents have never reached a net worth of more than a million dollars of their life.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed historical sources to determine which American presidents had never amassed a high level of wealth.
Many presidents who have never become very rich come from modest beginnings. Andrew Johnson, Abraham Lincoln and James Garfield were born in log cabins. Most of the wealthier presidents inherited money from the family and were able to live comfortably before entering the public service. However, many presidents from less affluent families have never been able to earn much money because jobs in the public service often do not pay much.
However, many presidents from less affluent families have never been able to earn much money because jobs in the public service often do not pay much. (Photo11: General Photographic Agency / Getty Images)
Presidents who never became rich had many different reasons for not achieving greater wealth. In the 1800s, access to education and upward social and economic mobility were extremely difficult for rural residents, who nonetheless succeeded in running for president.
Others have struggled with their business ventures. Harry S. Truman was deeply in debt after his hat shop did not take off until he became president. Ulysses S. Grant has invested tens of thousands of dollars in a business that has turned out to be a scam.
24/7 Wall St. analyzed the finances of presidents from historical sources. We have accounted for hard assets such as real estate, estimated lifetime savings based on work history and inheritance. We also took into account annual salaries, book royalty income, corporate ownership, returns from family inheritance and other forms of income. The ranking is based on the maximum net worth or value of the combined assets of a president at the time of his life, when he was the richest.
The nine poorest US presidents were worth less than $ 1 million, corrected for inflation.
9. James Buchanan
• term: 1857-1861 (15th president)
• Other professions: Congressman, Senator, Secretary of State
• Place of birth: Franklin County, Pennsylvania
James Buchanan comes from a wealthy family, but he has never made much money in his lifetime as his entire career has been in the public service. After graduating in law, Buchanan joined the army and served during the War of 1812 before being elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. His political career included Congressman, Senator and Secretary of State. Buchanan never had to provide for anyone because he was the only president to never get married.
8. Abraham Lincoln
• term: 1861-1865 (16th president)
• Other professions: Lawyer, General Store Owner, Rail Separator
• Place of birth: Hardin County, Kentucky
Born into a modest family, Abraham Lincoln's rise to become one of the most respected presidents in history is remarkable. Tall and strong, in his early twenties, Lincoln made money by doing handicrafts like chopping wood. After moving to New Salem, Illinois, Lincoln experimented with a number of other occupations, occupying the postmaster position in the city and owning a general store. He eventually found politics and got a seat in the Illinois State Legislature. Only after his election did he decide to become a lawyer, a profession that put him on the political path.
7. Andrew Johnson
• term: 1865-1869 (17th president)
• Other professions: Tailor, Alderman, Mayor
• Place of birth: Raleigh, North Carolina
Andrew Johnson began his professional life as a tailor, but his true passion has always seemed to be the debate. Johnson frequently pleaded for the common man and pleaded against the plantations. He gained support from his community in Greeneville, Tenn., Eventually becoming Alderman and Mayor of the city. His political career continued on his upward trajectory until his appointment to the re-election of Abraham Lincoln in 1864. He took office after Lincoln's assassination.
6. Ulysses Simpson Grant
• term: 1869-1877 (18th president)
• Other professions: General, leatherworker, farmer
• Place of birth: Point Pleasant, Ohio
Ulysses S. Grant is renowned for his leadership in the Union forces during the Civil War, but between that and his previous service in the US-Mexican War, Grant struggled to find a career. After resigning from the army in 1854, Grant failed in his attempts to work in agriculture and real estate. He went to work for his father, who worked in leather goods. He returned to his true calling when the civil war broke out.
5. James Abram Garfield
• term: 1881 (20th president)
• Other professions: Teacher, General, Congress Member
• Place of birth: Orange, Ohio
James A. Garfield has never pursued a lucrative career, focusing instead on service. After finishing his studies at the eclectic Institute, he returned to his alma mater and became a teacher of Greek and Latin. Before entering politics, Garfield was also ordained minister. He fought for the Union during the Civil War, heading the 42nd Volunteer Infantry Regiment of Ohio.
4. Chester Alan Arthur
• term: 1881-1885 (21st President)
• Other professions: School Director, Lawyer, Customs Tax Collector
• Place of birth: Fairfield, Vermont
The first job of Chester A. Arthur at the end of the university was that of a school teacher. He became a school principal before leaving to devote himself to his career in law. This led him to occupy the post of customs collector for the port of New York. As president, Arthur dismantled this system using his internal knowledge of how it works.
3. Woodrow Wilson
• term: 1913-1921 (28th president)
• Other professions: Professor, college president, governor
• Place of birth: Staunton, Virginia
Few presidents have as much knowledge of political theory as Woodrow Wilson. After receiving his doctorate in political science, Wilson returned to Princeton, his alma mater, to become a professor. He became president of Princeton, but soon abandoned political education to put his policy into practice. Wilson won the election to become governor of New Jersey in 1910, and two years later he was elected president.
2. Calvin Coolidge
• term: 1923-1929 (30th president)
• Other professions: Lawyer, writer
• Place of birth: Plymouth Notch, Vermont
Calvin Coolidge, nicknamed "Silent Cal", had a solid 20-year career as a lawyer while pursuing his political career. Coolidge began as a city councilor in Northampton, Massachusetts, before working to become governor of the state. After leaving office, Coolidge worked on writing his memoirs and regular columns in various magazines.
1. Harry S. Truman
• term: 1945-1953 (33rd president)
• Other professions: Farmer, headwear owner, judge
• Place of birth: Lamar, Missouri
Harry S. Truman had several odd jobs in his early days. Truman, who did not attend college, started working on the family farm before working in a railway construction company and then at a bank. He did not find his passion for politics until he returned from service in the National Guard during World War I. Truman's unsuccessful attempt to run a hat shop has deeply indebted him. He then used the contacts he made in the military to get into politics, but his finances were so bad that the salary of his president had been doubled during his tenure.
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