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Saturday, September 6, 2014

America's wealthiest Presidents

The richest presidents in U.S. history were revolutionaries. The United States is not only thought to have created the office of presidency, but is also the first and wealthiest president in U.S. history. Some debate exists over the exact wealth of some of the richest U.S. presidents of all time. For example, John F. Kennedy is thought to have been very wealthy, but much of his wealth was held in a family trust according to Forbes.

George Washington 1. George Washington

In inflation adjusted dollars, President George Washington was worth $512 billion according to the Huffington Post. The nation's first president refused his administrative salary, but accumulated  great wealth in a number of ways. Forbes states George Washington had a strong business sense, made numerous lucrative land deals, lived in a low-tax environment, and both emerged from and lived within family wealth.

Thomas Jefferson 2. Thomas Jefferson 

Thomas Jefferson was the third President of the United States, and depending on who is asked, also the second or third richest. According to the Atlantic magazine, Thomas Jefferson amassed $212 million in 2010 dollars, after which he became heavily in debt. Like Washington, Jefferson owned a lot of land and many slaves which at the time was a sign of large wealth. Unlike Washington, Jefferson accepted his salary of $25,000 per year which in today's dollars is approximately $480 thousand per year.

Andrew Jackson 3. Andrew Jackson 

Andrew Jackson, who appears on the U.S. $20 bill was the third richest U.S. President of all time per 24/7 Wall Street. Andrew Jackson fought in both the revolutionary war and the war of 1812, and served as a Senator before becoming President. Like Washington and Jefferson before him, Jackson was a landowner, and slave owner who became increasingly imbibed in financial privilege until he too came upon debt.

Teddy Roosevelt 4. Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt is an exception to the rule when it comes to the richest U.S. Presidents of all time as he was a 20th century head of state. His net worth is believed to have been as high as $125 million by the Atlantic and 24/7 Wall Street. However, Teddy Roosevelt had a similar debt trend to Jefferson and Jackson and the next richest President after him. Roosevelt earned $50,000 per year according to the Internet Public Library. In today's dollars this amounts to about $1.28 million per year.

James Madison 5. James Madison 

James Madison, who was the fourth U.S. President, was yet another revolutionary who became very wealthy. His value is placed at $101 million by the Atlantic. According to the University of Virginia, Madison acquired his great wealth via inheritance and marriage. Madison earned a presidential salary of $25,000 per year according to the Internet Public Library, an amount that would now be worth around $450,000 per year.

 Image:  BrokenSegue, WikiCommons. US-PDGov. 2. Rembrandt Peale; US-PDGov 3. Thomas Sully; US-PDGov  4. M.P. Rice; US-PDGov; 5. John Vanderlyn;  US-PDGov