Skip to comments.The 10 Richest U.S. Presidents
Posted on 02/14/2014 8:16:42 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential ticket, according to most political pundits. The presidential hopefuls husband, former President Bill Clinton, has made millions on lucrative book deals and more than $100 million on the speaking circuit. Secretary Clinton has recently begun to earn that kind of money as well.
Secretary Clinton received an estimated $14 million advance on her new book last year, and she has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars for each speaking engagement, figures that rival her husband’s. In all, the couples net worth is estimated by 24/7 Wall St. to be $55 million, making it one of the wealthiest presidential estates in history.
Click here to see the ten richest U.S. presidents
Four years ago, 24/7 Wall St. published The Net worth of Every American President, from Washington to Obama. Each year, we have updated our figures to reflect the earnings of the still-living presidents. One thing remains clear: these days, it pays to be president, especially after leaving office.
Like last year, the only currently living president who is counted among of the wealthiest of all time is President Clinton.
President Barack Obama is not one of the richest presidents. The president receives a salary of $400,000 a year as president, which, while generous, isn’t even close to today’s top executives salaries. The Presidents annual income has actually dropped steadily since he entered office. In 2009, the President’s adjusted gross income was $5.5 million. That figure fell to less than $1 million in 2012. This is primarily due to a drop-off in revenue from his prior book deals. 24/7 Wall St. estimates the Presidents net worth to be $7.5 million.
The net worth of the presidents varies widely. George Washingtons estate was worth more than half a billion in todays dollars. On the other hand, several presidents went bankrupt.
The fortunes of Americas presidents are often tied to the economy of their time. As the focus of the economy has changed, so has the way the presidents made their money.
It is not surprising then to find that the first few presidents from Washingtons election to about 75 years later were large landowners. They generally made money from land, crops, and commodity speculation. Of course, this left them highly vulnerable to poor crop yields, and they could lose most or all of their properties because of a few bad years.
By 1850, the financial history of the presidency entered a new era. Beginning with Millard Fillmore, most presidents were lawyers who spent years in public service. They rarely amassed large fortunes and their incomes often came almost entirely from their salaries.
These American presidents were distinctly middle class and often retired without the means to support themselves in anyway resembling the presidential lifestyle. Buchanan, Lincoln, Johnson, Grant, Hayes, and Garfield had modest net worths when they died.
At the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, there was another significant change to the economy. Large, professionally organized corporations in the oil, mining, financial, and railroad sectors allowed individuals to amass large fortunes.
The Kennedys were wealthy because of the financial empire built by Joseph Kennedy. Herbert Hoover made millions of dollars as the owner of mining companies. Indeed, since the early 20th century, the fortunes of many presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and both of the Bushes were driven by inherited wealth.
The net worth figures for the 10 wealthiest presidents are in 2010 dollars. Because several of the presidents, particularly in the early 19th century, made and lost huge fortunes in a matter of a few years, the net worth of each president is for the peak time. The exception to the 2010 rule are the presidents who are still living and have more recent earnings. In the case of each president, we have taken into account hard assets such as land, estimated lifetime savings based on work history, inheritance, and homes. Wages considered were earned for services as varied as collector of customs at the Port of New York to royalties on books, as well as ownership of companies and yields from family estates.
This is 24/7 Wall St.s list of the richest U.S. presidents.
10. John Fitzgerald Kennedy
> Net worth: $1 billion (never inherited his fathers fortune)
> In office: 1961 to 1963
> 35th president
Kennedy was born into wealth and married into it. His father was one of the wealthiest men in America and the first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. His wife, too, was an oil heiress. Almost all of JFKs income and property came from a trust shared with other family members.
9. William Jefferson Clinton
> Net Worth: $55 million
> In office: 1993 – 2001
> 42nd president
Unlike other presidents, Clinton did not inherit any wealth and gained little net worth during 20 plus years of public service. After his time in the White House, however, he earned a substantial income as an author and public speaker. In 2005, Clinton earned a $15 million advance on his book My Life. Former Secretary Clinton’s advance for her upcoming autobiography is expected to be nearly as much. In 2011, the former president was paid $750,000 alone to speak in Hong Kong for Ericsson. By 2012, the former president was estimated to have earned over $100 million. Secretary Clinton has started contributing to the family fortune since leaving office. It is reported that she earns more than $200,000 per speech.
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8. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
> Net worth: $60 million
> In office: 1933 to 1945
> 32nd president
Roosevelts wealth came through inheritance and marriage. He owned the 800-acre Springwood estate, as well as properties in Georgia, Maine, and New York. In 1919, his mother had to bail him out of financial difficulty. He spent most of his adult life in public service. Before he was president, Roosevelt was appointed assistant secretary of the Navy by President Wilson.
7. Herbert Clark Hoover
> Net worth: $75 million
> In office: 1929 to 1933
> 31st president
An orphan, Hoover was raised by his uncle, a doctor. Hoover made a fortune as a mining company executive. He had a generous salary for 17 years and had extensive holdings in mining companies. Hoover donated his presidential salary to charity. He also owned Hoover House in Monterey, Calif.
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6. Lyndon Baines Johnson
> Net worth: $98 million
> In office: 1963 to 1969
> 36th president
Johnsons father lost all the familys money when LBJ was a boy. Over time, the 36th president had accumulated 1,500 acres in Blanco County, Texas, which included his home, called the Texas White House. He and his wife owned a radio and television station in Austin, Texas, and they had a variety of other moderate holdings, including livestock and private aircraft.
5. James Madison
> Net worth: $101 million
> In office: 1809 to 1817
> 4th president
Madison was the largest landowner in Orange County, Virginia. His land holding consisted of 5,000 acres and the Montpelier estate. He made significant wealth as Secretary of State and president. Madison lost money at the end of his life due to the steady financial collapse of his plantation.
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4. Andrew Jackson
> Net worth: $119 million
> In office: 1829 to 1837
> 7th president
While he was considered to be in touch with the average middle-class American, Jackson quietly became one of the wealthiest presidents of the 1800s. Old Hickory married into wealth and made money in the military. His homestead, The Hermitage, included 1,050 acres of prime real estate. Over the course of his life, he owned as many as 300 slaves. Jackson entered considerable debt later in life.
3. Theodore Roosevelt
> Net worth: $125 million
> In office: 1901 to 1909
> 26th president
Born to a prominent and wealthy family, Roosevelt received a sizable trust fund. He lost most of his money on a ranching venture in the Dakotas and had to work as an author to pay the bills. Roosevelt spent most of his adult years in public service. His 235-acre estate, Sagamore Hill, now sits on some of the most valuable real estate in Long Island.
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2. Thomas Jefferson
> Net worth: $212 million
> In office: 1801 to 1809
> 3rd president
Jefferson was left 3,000 acres and several dozen slaves by his father. Monticello, Jefferson’s home on a 5,000-acre plantation in Virginia, was one of the architectural wonders of its time. He made considerable money in various political positions before becoming president, but he was mired in debt towards the end of his life.
1. George Washington
> Net worth: $525 million
> In office: 1789 to 1797
> 1st president
Washington’s Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon, consisted of five separate farms on 8,000 acres of prime farmland run by more than 300 slaves. His wife, Martha, inherited significant property from her father. As president, Washington earned well more than subsequent presidents: his salary was 2% of the total U.S. budget in 1789.
Want to see the Net worth of Every American President? Click here for the full report.
|Images||President (Term)||Estimated Net Worth||Historical Points of Interest|
|1st George Washington (1789-1797)||$525 million||His Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon, consisted of five separate farms on 8,000 acres of prime farmland, run by over 300 slaves. His wife, Martha Washington, inherited significant property from her father. Washington made significantly more than subsequent presidents: his salary was two percent of the total U.S. budget in 1789.|
|2nd John Adams (1797-1801)||$19 million||Adams received a modest inheritance from his father. His wife, Abigail Adams, was a member of the Quincys, a prestigious Massachusetts family. Adams owned a handsome estate in Quincy, Massachusetts, known as “Peacefield,” a working farm, covering approximately 40 acres. He also had a thriving law practice.|
|3rd Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)||$212 million||Jefferson was left 3,000 acres and several dozen slaves by his father. “Monticello,”
his home on a 5,000 acre plantation in Virginia, was one of the architectural wonders of its time. He made significant money in various political positions before becoming president, but was mired in debt towards the end of his life.
|4th James Madison (1809-1817)||$101 million||Madison was the largest landowner in Orange County, Virginia, with land holding consisting of 5,000 acres and the Montpelier estate. He made significant money as secretary of state and president. Madison lost money at the end of his life due to the steady financial collapse of his plantation.|
|5th James Monroe (1817-1825)||$27 million||Monroe’s wife, Elizabeth, was the daughter of wealthy British officer. He made significant money during eight years as president, but entered retirement severely in debt and was forced to sell Highland plantation, which included 3500 acres.|
|6th John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)||$21 million||Adams inherited most of his fathers land. His wife was the daughter of a wealthy merchant. He devoted most of his adult life to public service, notably after leaving office.|
|7th Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)||$119 million||While he was considered to be in touch with the average middle class American, Jackson quietly became one of the wealthiest presidents of the 1800s. “Old Hickory” married into wealth and made money in the military. His homestead The Hermitage included 1,050 acres of prime real estate. Over the course of his life, he owned as many as 300 slaves. Jackson entered significant debt later in life.|
|8th Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)||$26 million||Van Buren made substantial income as an attorney. He was one of only two men to serve as secretary of state, vice president, and president. He owned the 225-acre “Lindenwald” estate in upstate New York.|
|9th William Henry Harrison (1841)||$5 million||Harrison married into money – wifes father was prominent judge and landowner. When Harrisons mother died, he inherited 3,000 acres near Charles City, Virginia, which he later sold to his brother. He also owned Grouseland mansion and property, in Vincennes, Indiana. Despite his assets, Harrison died penniless, causing Congress to create a special pension for his widow.|
|10th John Tyler (1841-1845)||$51 million||Tyler Inherited 1,000-acre tobacco plantation. His first wife, Letitia, was wealthy. Tyler bought Sherwood Manor, a 1,600 acre estate, previously owned by William Henry Harrison. He became indebted during the Civil War and died poor.|
|11th James Knox Polk (1845-1849)||$10 million||Like his wife, Sarah Childress, Polks father was a wealthy plantation owner and speculator. Polk made significant sums as speaker of the house and governor of Tennessee, and owned 920 acres in Coffeeville, Mississippi, as well as 25 slaves.|
|Images||President (Term)||Estimated Net Worth||Historical Points of Interest|
|12th Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)||$6 million||Taylor inherited significant amounts of land from his family, which at one point included property in Mississippi, Kentucky, and Louisiana. He made substantial money in land speculation, the leasing of warehouses, and investments in bank and utility stocks. Taylor owned a sizeable plantation in Mississippi and a home in Baton Rouge.|
|13th Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)||$4 million||Neither Fillmore nor his wife had significant inheritance. He founded a college that is the current State University of New York at Buffalo, and his primary holding was a house in nearby East Aurora, NY.|
|14th Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)||$2 million||Pierce’s father was frontier farmer, and his wife was well-to-do aristocrat. He served as attorney for 16 years and held property in concord, NH.|
|15th James Buchanan (1857-1861)||less than $1 million||Born in log cabin in Pennsylvania, Buchanan was one of 11 children. He was the only president never to marry. He worked for nine years as attorney, and spent 16 years in public office, including four years as secretary of state.|
|16th Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)||less than $1 million||To the log cabin born. Lincoln served as an attorney for 17 years before his presidency. He owned a single-family home in Springfield, Illinois.|
|17th Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)||less than $1 million||Johnson’s father was a tailor, and his wife was a shoemaker. He served the public for 20 years, including as Governor of Tennessee and U.S. Senator. Johnson owned a small house in Greenville, TN.|
|18th Ulysses Simpson Grant (1869-1877)||less than $1 million||Grant’s father was a tanner, and his wife was the daughter of a wealthy merchant. He lost his entire fortune when swindled by his investing partner. Grant owned a modest home in Galena, Illinois. Although he died with little money, his autobiography kept family afloat.|
|19th Rutherford Birchard Hayes, (1877-1881)||$3 million||Hayes’ father was a shopkeeper. He was an attorney for 15 years and owned Spiegel Grove, a 10,000 square foot home that sat on 25 acres in Fremont, Ohio. Hayes also served as Governor of Ohio and was a member of the House.|
|20th James Abram Garfield (1881)||less than $1 million||Garfield was born in a log cabin in Ohio. He spent 18 years in the House of Representatives. Garfield owned Lawnfield, a home and small property in Mentor, Ohio. He died penniless.|
|21st Chester Alan Arthur (1881-1885)||less than $1 million||The son of an Irish preacher, Arthur’s wife came a from military family. He made substantial sums as Collector for the Port of New York. His townhouse in New York was well-appointed with furniture commission from Tiffany.|
|22nd and 24th Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1893-1897)||$25 million||Cleveland’s father was a bookseller and preacher, and his wife was the daughter of wealthy lawyer. Cleveland served as an attorney for twelve years, and also made significant sums on sale of his estate outside of Washington, D.C. He bought Westland Mansion near Princeton, New Jersey.|
|Images||President (Term)||Estimated Net Worth||Historical Points of Interest|
|23rd Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)||$5 million||Harrison had no significant inheritance of his own or from his wifes family. He was a highly paid attorney for 18 years, and served as attorney for Republic of Venezuela. Harrison owned large Victorian home in Indianapolis, Indiana.|
|25th William McKinley (1897-1901)||$1 million||Mckinley had no significant inheritance. Served 30 years in public office, including local prosecutor and member of the House of Representatives. Went bankrupt during depression of 1893 while he was Governor of Ohio.|
|26th Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)||$125 million||Born to a prominent and wealthy family, Roosevelt received a significant trust fund. He lost most of his money on a ranching venture in the Dakotas and had to work as an author to pay bills. Roosevelt spent most of his adult years in public service. His 235-acre estate, Sagamore Hill, sits on some of the most valuable real estate on Long Island.|
|27th William Howard Taft (1909-1913)||$3 million||Taft’s wifes father was a law partner of former president, Rutherford B. Hayes. Taft was president of the American Bar Association, an active attorney for nearly two decades, and only president to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.|
|28th Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)||less than $1 million||Wilson received modest compensation as head of Princeton and Governor of New Jersey. He never served in any position that provided him with a reasonable income. Wilson had a stroke in office and died five years later.|
|29th Warren Gamaliel Harding (1921-1923)||$1 million||Harding obtained wealth through marriage to his wife Mabel, daughter of a prominent banker. He owned the Marion Daily Star and a small home in Marion, Ohio. Most of Harding’s net worth came from his newspaper ownership.|
|30th Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)||less than $1 million||Coolidge’s father was prosperous farmer and storekeeper. “Silent Cal” Spent five years as an attorney, and almost two decades in public office, which included time as Governor of Massachusetts. His net worth derived primarily from his home, The Beeches, in Northampton, Massachusetts, the advance from his autobiography, and the money he made from his newspaper column.|
|31st Herbert Clark Hoover (1929-1933)||$75 million||An orphan, Hoover was raised by his uncle, a doctor. He made a fortune as a mining company executive, had a very large salary for 17 years and had extensive holdings in mining companies. Hoover donated his presidential salary to charity. He also owned Hoover House in Monterey, California.|
|32nd Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945)||$60 million||Roosevelt had wealth through inheritance and marriage. He owned the 800-acre Springwood estate as well as properties in Georgia, Maine, and New York. In 1919, his mother had to bail him out of financial difficulty. He spent most of his adult life in public service. Before he was president, Roosevelt was appointed assistant secretary of the navy by Wilson.|
|33rd Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)||less than $1 million||Truman was a haberdasher in Missouri and nearly went bankrupt. He served 18 years in Washington, D.C. Despite his modest income, he was able to save some of his presidential salary.|
|Images||President (Term)||Estimated Net Worth||Historical Points of Interest|
|34th Dwight David Eisenhower (1953-1961)||$ 8 million||Eisenhower had no inherited wealth. He served the majority of his career in the military and five years as president of Columbia. Ike owned a large farm near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.|
|35th John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1961-1963)||Although he never inherited his fathers fortune, the Kennedy family estate was worth nearly $1 billion dollars.||Born into great wealth, Kennedy’s wife was oil heiress. His Father was one of the wealthiest men in America, and was the first chairman of the SEC. Almost all of JFKs income and property came from trust shared with other family members.|
|36th Lyndon Baines Johnson (1963-1969)||$98 Million||Johnsons father lost all of the familys money when LBJ was a boy. Over time, he accumulated 1,500 acres in Blanco County, Texas, which included his home, called the Texas White House. He and his wife owned a radio and television station in Austin, TX, and had a variety of other moderate holdings, including livestock and private aircraft.|
|37th Richard Milhous Nixon (1969-1974)||$15 million||Nixon was born without any inheritance, and was a public servant for most of his life including a term as a Senator from California. “Tricky Dick” made significant sums from series of interviews with David Frost and book advances. He sold his New York townhouse to the Syrian ambassador to the U.S. and purchased a large home in Saddle River, NJ. At various times, Nixon also owned real estate in California and Florida.|
|38th Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. (1974-1977)||$7 million||Ford had no inheritance, and he spent virtually his entire adult life in public service. Over the course of his lifetime, he owned properties in Michigan, Rancho Mirage, and Beaver Creek, Colorado. After he left the White House in 1976, he made nearly $1 million a year from book advances and from serving on the boards of several prominent American companies.|
|39th James Earl Carter, 1977-1981||$7 million||Carter was the son of a prominent Georgia businessman. He was a peanut farmer for almost two decades. Carter left office deeply in debt, but made substantial sums from writing 14 books. Part of a family partnership that owns 2,500 acres in Georgia.|
|40th Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-89 (Republican)||$13 million||Reagan had no inheritance, but his first wife, an actress, had her own money. He was a movie and television actor for over two decades. “The Gipper” owned several pieces of real estate over his lifetime, including 688-acre property near Santa Barbara, California. Reagan was highly paid for his autobiography and as a GE spokesman.|
|41st George Herbert Walker Bush (1989-1993)||$23 million||Bush was the son of Prescott Bush, a Connecticut Senator and successful businessman. Aided by his friends in the financial community, he made a number of successful investments. One of his major assets is his home and 100+ acre estate in Kennebunkport, Maine.|
|42nd William Jefferson Clinton (1993- 2001)||$55 million||Unlike other presidents, Clinton did not inherit any wealth and gained little net worth during 20 plus years of public service. After his time in the White House, however, he earned a substantial income as an author and public speaker. In 2005, Clinton earned a $15 million advance on his book My Life. Former Secretary Clintons advance for her upcoming autobiography is expected to be nearly as much. In 2011, the former president was paid $750,000 alone to speak in Hong Kong for Ericsson. By 2012, the former president was estimated to have earned over $100 million. Secretary Clinton has started contributing to the family fortune since leaving office. It is reported that she earns more than $200,000 per speech.|
|43rd George W. Bush (2001-2008)||$35 million||Born into a wealthy family, George W. Bush netted millions in the oil business. He also made a good deal of money on his investment in the Texas Rangers — approximately $15 million — when the baseball team was sold in 1998. He has continued to increase his wealth since leaving office. We estimate that President Bush has made nearly $26 million in speaking fees since leaving the White House. In addition, Bush received a $7 million advance for his memoir “Decision Points,” published in 2010. In 2009, the former president and his wife purchased an 8,500 square foot house in the upscale Dallas neighborhood of Preston Hollow, now worth approximately $2.6 million according to housing Web site Zillow. In 2010, they purchased and tore down a home in an adjacent lot.|
|44th Barack Hussein Obama (2008-present)||$7 million||Barack Obama receives a salary of $400,000 a year as the current president. The president’s annual income has actually dropped steadily since he entered office. In 2009, the president earned $3.3 million in income after taxes. That figure fell to less than $600,000 in 2012. This is primarily due to a drop-off in revenue from his prior book deals, ”The Audacity of Hope” and “Dreams from My Father.” Obama is paying 5.625 percent interest on the 30-year mortgage on his Chicago home, which is worth between $500,000 and $1 million, according to financial forms disclosed by the White House last year. While he admitted he would save money if he refinanced his mortgage, he said, when youre president you have to be a little careful about these transactions.|
I HOPE this pResidents ‘fortune’ is tied to the economics (which he has created) of his time in office. He deserves it!
I’ve also saved this one.
Like minds, and all that - - - .
How can Hillary Clinton be worth $55 million and look the way she does?
Great post. Bookmarked for later reference.
It’s my understanding that Clinton is worth much more than $55 million dollars.
Obama is also worth more than it is listed.
This is a skewed and misleading list.
To take men dead 150-200 years, and then project how what they owned back then would have grown in today’s dollars is just rubbish for comparisons sake.
Fact is, when they were alive, most of them would not have been considered ultra wealthy as compared to the real magnates of their day.
When you’re wealthy enough, you don’t have to give a damn.
Didn’t Washington have to borrow money to attend his first inauguration? I think many of the presidents who owned a lot of land are having it valued at today’s prices and today’s market.
when you are ugly to the bone money cant buy everything
She could at least comb her hair.
Hoo boy. I agree. The basic premise is flawed.
From all I've ever read about the great James A. Garfield, IMHO, he was the last president elected "by the people." He was barely a guest at the Republican convention, after his speech, they nominated him for the presidential run (back in the day when delegates were still free to cast votes based upon their own opinion).
Reporters and people used to come to his home in Mentor, Ohio, and fill his front yard while he spoke from the porch. He often gave the sermon at the local church. His writings, volumes of which, testify to his understanding of the constitution and the moral underpinnings of our great Republic.
His assassination, far more than Lincoln's who preceded him, convinced me that a very powerful establishment was threatened by the exposure of their efforts to undermine our incredible system of government. His opinions and dire warnings are well worth the time to examine and reflect upon.
nah those fleas and ticks deserve a good home
I noticed the Nixon Presidency seems to be the Demarcation point. He and all the Presidents after except for the Bush’s seemed to have attain most of their Wealth Because they were President were it seems like the ones before acquired their wealth (if they had any) from other than the Presidency.
Obama’s ‘compound’ being built on Oahu is worth over 85 million. The media seems to have no interest in where the money is coming from.....
“At least comb her hair.”
She probably lost her comb.
That’s the truth.
So Nixon was referred to as “Tricky Dicky” but Clinton was not “Slick Willlie”.
Downplaying clinton and skippy they both have thier hands in to many illegal pots that threaten our nation, there is the difference. Clinton and China, skippy and the muslims
As to Kennedy, Johnson,and Clinton, I am reminded “Behind every great fortune, lies a crime.” - Balzac
Several of the early Presidents were very wealthy in terms of land ownership but were deeply in debt late in life, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson.
George Washington was one of the wealthiest men in America, perhaps the wealthiest in Virginia after his marriage, but he also suffered from agricultural losses.
I believe LBJ was the demarcation. A man who was penniless, spent his entire life in “public service”, who amassed great wealth. Most corrupt politician ever.
Didn’t George Washington’s properties also include several distilleries, which provided steady income even in lean years? America was just making the transition from imported rum to domestically produced whiskey (and the tax wars which accompanied that).
It should be noted that Washington was a working farmer up until his death, which may have been hastened by an ailment neglected as he continued to work hard every day.
Yes, he built a distillery at Mount Vernon. I think that it was an effort to find new income sources.
I say that kind of stuff all the time. lol When John Kerry was running for prez I said the same thing about his wife......all that money you would think she would hire a decent hairdresser!!!
And they say crime doesn’t pay. :-)
Interesting that all but 1 of the wealthiest presidents in the 20th Century were Democrats...