Wealthiest U.S. Presidents
It is widely speculated that former presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a personal net worth somewhere between $190 million and $250 million. With most of this money in the bank, he would have been one of the wealthiest U.S. presidents if elected. Making a true comparison among past presidents is more difficult given it has now been more than two centuries since George Washington served in office back in 1789. An attempt has been made to estimate a comparison over the last couple of centuries.
Washington was the first president and was born into a family with vast land holdings. His home, Mount Vernon in Virginia, totaled thousands of acres and he held acreage in parts of West Virginia as well. The value has been pegged north of $500 million, but the vast majority was certainly not liquid. However, the land provided him with great wealth and productive farmland to generate a more than sufficient living income.
Jefferson served as the third president starting in 1801 and is considered another founding father instrumental to the early years of the United States. His estimated net worth was less than half of Washington's at just over $200 million, but it was enough to qualify him as the second wealthiest president. In similar fashion to Washington, this worth was tied up in land holdings south of Washington in Virginia. His homestead is known as Monticello and, like Mount Vernon, is in existence today as a historical site for tourists to visit. At its peak, it was estimated to consist of around 5,000 acres of land that was farmed and held great value to his family.
Jumping forward a century, Roosevelt served as the 26th president starting in 1901. His net worth has been pegged at $125 million, which stems from family wealth. His land holdings are said to range from ranching acreage in the Dakotas to a couple of hundred acres in Long Island close to where he grew up in New York.
Backtracking more than seven decades, Jackson served as the seventh president starting in 1829. Land was again the name of the game, and it contributed to Jackson's estimated net worth of nearly $120 million. The acreage existed near Nashville, Tenn., and his homestead is known as the Hermitage.
Returning to earlier years, back to Virginia and another Founding Father, James Madison served as the fourth president starting in 1809. His homestead is known as Montpelier and consisted of 5,000 acres with an estimated total net worth just north of $100 million.
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