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Clinton Joins List of Nation's 10 Wealthiest Presidents

Monday, 18 Feb 2013 01:56 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

The personal fortunes of those who would become president of the United States have ranged from extremely wealth to distinctly middle-class incomes, but is does pay to be president, especially in these days of personal speaking engagements.

A 24/7 Wall St. report, out for President's Day, reveals the country's 10 wealthiest presidents in history. Only one currently living president, Bill Clinton, made the top 10 list. Clinton makes millions of dollars in speaking fees, and now has an estimated net worth of $55 million.

His popularity has only grown in the years since he left office. For example, in January, Clinton sent an email to supporters, and shortly after, his wife's 2008 campaign debt was paid off.

Barack Obama's net worth will likely increase once he leaves office as well. It went from $5 million in 2010 to a current $7 million, primarily from book sales, but if Clinton is an indication, Obama will become far wealthier once he is out of the White House.

The 10 wealthiest presidents, with assets adjusted into modern-day dollars, were:

10. John Kennedy: He had a net worth of $1 billion, when including the entire value of the Kennedy family's holdings. Kennedy was born into great wealth and his wife, Jacqueline, was an oil heiress.

9. Bill Clinton: Clinton's net worth is at $55 million. He didn't come from a wealthy family or have a high-paying job before becoming president, but earned most of his money from speaking fees.

8. Franklin Roosevelt: His net worth was $60 million, earned mostly through inheritance and marriage. He owned properties in Georgia, Maine and New York, and was assistant secretary of the Navy before he was president.

7. Herbert Hoover: His net worth was $75 million, after making his fortune as a mining company executive with holdings in several companies.

6. Lyndon Johnson: He had a net worth of $98 million. His father lost all the family's money when he was a boy, but Johnson accumulated property in Texas, owned a television and radio station.

5. James Madison: With a net worth of $101 million, Madison was the largest landowner in Orange County, Va., with a holding of 5,000 acres and the Montpelier estate. He also became very wealthy as Secretary of State and president. However, his plantation's financial collapse cost him a great deal of money at the end of his life.

4. Andrew Jackson: Old Hickory had a net worth of $119 million. Jackson married a wealthy woman and his homestead included 1,050 acres of real estate.

3. Theodore Roosevelt: With a net worth of $125 million, Teddy was born into a wealthy family and had a sizable trust fund. He lost most of his money on a ranching venture in the Dakotas, but his 235-acre estate, Sagamore Hill, sits on some of Long Island's most valuable real estate.

2. Thomas Jefferson: He fell deep in debt toward the end of his life, but had a net worth of $212 million based on the 3,000 acres and property left by his father and his home, Monticello, which was located on a 5,000 acre plantation in Virginia.

1. George Washington: The First President had a net worth of $525 million. He owned the Virginia plantation of Mount Vernon, which had five separate farms on 8,000 acres. His wife, Martha, also inherited property from her father, and Washington was paid 2 percent of the total U.S. Budget in 1789 for being president, a salary far above that of later presidents.

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