When looking at the history of the United States presidency it’s interesting to look at the various levels of wealth among these men. This chart shows the 5 wealthiest presidents of the United States in history. Each net worth is measured in terms of 2018 dollars, accounting for inflation.
Historically speaking, public servants have not been paid very much in comparison to other occupations. Because of this, in the early days of the United States, most politicians were those that came from wealthy families. The low public servant pay did not matter as much when they had family wealth to fall back on, or were in line to receive a large inheritance.
Land ownership was a huge contributor to wealth in the early days as well. Even though the land itself was not “liquid” (money to spend), these people had easier access to creditors who would lend them money, knowing there was land they could seize if debts weren’t paid.
Looking at the chart, the 5 wealthiest presidents are as follows: Donald Trump, John F Kennedy, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt.
5 Wealthiest Presidents of the United States
A common theme among these men is that all inherited a vast amount of wealth from their families. At the time, land was a huge indicator of wealth. This is why many of the influential figures who signed the Declaration of Independence were wealthy landowners. In addition, several actually married into wealth, or had their net worth supplemented by their spouse.
John F Kennedy inherited nearly all his wealth from his father, Joe Kennedy. Joe was a famed banker and investor and one of the richest men in the United States at the time. His spouse, Jackie, was also an heiress to a large fortune from her family which made their money in the oil industry.
George Washington inherited his famed plantation, Mount Vernon, from his half brother. His spouse, Martha, also brought a significant amount of wealth to the couple from her previous marriage.
Thomas Jefferson also inherited his land from family. Though he was known to live a very opulent and lavish lifestyle, he actually died debt ridden due to his inability to get access to credit anymore.
Source: Voice of America