Hillary Clinton has recently come under fire for stating that she and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, were "dead broke" upon leaving the White House, with critics saying that such a statement was out of touch with the real world and the average American.
While it would seem that Americans tend to distrust wealthy politicians and seek presidents who can relate to them financially, historically the U.S. has elected presidents from a wide range of economic backgrounds. Abraham Lincoln may have had an adjusted net worth of less than $1 million, but one of his successors has been valued at upwards of 1 billion dollars.
This list features the 15 richest U.S. presidents at the peak of their financial success, in or out of office, with net worth adjusted to fit today's economy and monetary values. Facts and totals have been taken from TIME and The Atlantic.
Estimated Net Worth: $23 million
George Bush Sr. just barely beat out his son, George W. Bush, who has an estimated net worth of $20 million. H. W. was the son of a successful businessman, but most of his success can be attributed to his number of highly profitable investments.
Estimated Net Worth: $25 million
Much of Cleveland's wealth came from the legal field. Cleveland worked as an attorney for twelve years, and also married the daughter of a wealthy lawyer. Lastly, Cleveland owned an estate near Washington, D.C., which he sold for a significant profit.
Estimated Net Worth: $26 million
Much of Van Buren's money came from his early career as an attorney. Additionally, he was one of just two men — the other was Thomas Jefferson — to have ever served as secretary of state, vice president, and president in his lifetime, making him a prominent politician.
Estimated Net Worth: $27 million
Monroe married into money and earned a significant salary as president. After retiring he fell into debt, resulting in the forced sale of his plantation and accompanying 3,500 acres.
Estimated Net Worth: $38 million
Clinton was not born into money, and did not make a significant amount in office. In fact, when the Clintons left the white house they were $10 million in debt, according to Politico. After his presidency, however, Clinton earned a $12 million advance for his autobiography "My Life," and has since earned millions more for public speaking engagements.
Estimated Net Worth: $51 million
Tyler's wealth began when he inherited a large tobacco plantation. Additionally, his first wife was wealthy. Eventually Tyler would come to own a 1,600 acre estate in Virginia, although with the Civil War he fell into debt and would die in relative poverty.
Estimated Net Worth: $60 million
Like several others on this list, Roosevelt's initial fortune came through inheritance and marrying wealth. While he spent most of his working career in public service, Roosevelt would serve not only as president but also as assistant secretary of the Navy.
Estimated Net Worth: $75 million
Herbert Hoover was orphaned at a young age and was raised by his uncle. He went on to make millions as a company executive in the mining industry, both through his high salary and his holdings in the mining business. Hoover donated millions of dollars to charity throughout his life, including his presidential salary.
Estimated Net Worth: $98 million
Despite his father losing the family money when Johnson was young, Lyndon went on to purchase around 1,500 acres of land in Texas and a radio and television station in Austin. The Johnsons also owned livestock, private aircrafts, and a family home that they dubbed the "Texas White House."
Estimated Net Worth: $101 million
While he lost a significant amount of his fortune later in life, Madison earned a notable amount of money in his positions as secretary of state and then president. He was also the largest landowner in Orange County, Virginia, holding over 5,000 acres.
Estimated Net Worth: $119 million
Despite his reputation as an everyday man in touch with middle America, Andrew Jackson quickly became one of the wealthiest presidents in history. Jackson married into wealth and added to his fortune with money from his career as a lawyer and military hero. However, he did enter into debt later in his life.
Estimated Net Worth: $125 million
Theodore Roosevelt was born into a high class family, with money and a prominent reputation. Part of being a Roosevelt meant inheriting a large trust fund. However, Roosevelt would lose much of his money on a ranching venture in the Dakotas, requiring him to work in order to make ends meet.
Estimated Net Worth: $212 million
Thomas Jefferson inherited 3,000 acres of land in Virginia and dozens of slaves. He would go on to acquire 2,000 more acres and more slaves, and earn a significant amount of money in various political positions before his presidency. Throughout his life he worked on his estate home, Monticello, which was considered an architectural wonder. Despite the money he had throughout his life, Jefferson died deeply in debt and his slaves and belongings were auctioned off soon after his death.
Estimated Net Worth: $525 million
In addition to marrying a wealthy widow, Washington owned around 8,000 acres of productive farmland run by more than 300 slaves. As the first president, Washington also benfitted from a much higher salary than presidents after him: around two percent of the country's total budget in 1789.
Estimated Net Worth: $1 billion
JFK personally lived off of a $10 million trust fund, while the Kennedy family estate was estimated at a value of $1 billion. Kennedy was born into wealth; his wife, Jackie, was an oil heiress and his father was the first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as one of the wealthiest men in America.