There’s no doubt about it: being the U.S. president is a hard and often thankless job. Richard Nixon famously said, “Scrubbing floors and emptying bedpans has as much dignity as the Presidency.” [JB - see link to this article.]
But being president also has amazing perks (Air Force One!), and most presidents have been financially well-off. In fact, the average net worth of a U.S. president ($62 million) is more than 200 times the average net worth of a U.S. adult ($301,000). It pays to be president.
Using the most recent data from 24/7 Wall St., InsideGov ranked every U.S. president
by net worth, from lowest to highest. 24/7 Wall St. relied primarily on historical records
to value each president’s assets and adjusted all numbers for inflation.
They included factors such as land and property, income, inheritance, and book royalties
in their calculation. Overall, presidential wealth has gone through several notable trends. Many of the earlier presidents made their fortunes before entering the White House, largely through land speculation.
In contrast, many of the modern presidents came into office modestly wealthy, but significantly boosted their finances through subsequent book deals and public speaking.
*Note: the rankings are 1-43 because Grover Cleveland was president twice. All values are expressed in 2010 dollars and adjusted for inflation.
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."