When people think about presidents, they often think about wealth. Donald Trump is a billionaire (or so he says). John Kennedy’s family had a huge fortune. The Roosevelts were from money. The Bush family had money from investment banking. George Washington owned a tremendous amount of land.
Not all presidents are rich, or even middle class by the measure of their times. Lincoln was born into poverty and never made money. Harry Truman had been a shoe salesman.
Despite the advantage that those with money and power have in presidential campaigns, and despite the lucrative opportunities afforded to former presidents, nine presidents nevertheless never achieved a net worth of over $1 million in their lifetimes.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed historical sources in order to determine which U.S. presidents never amassed a high level of wealth.
Many presidents who never became highly wealthy came from humble beginnings. Andrew Johnson, Abraham Lincoln and James Garfield were born in log cabins. Most of the wealthiest presidents inherited family money and were able to live comfortably before going into public service. Many of the presidents born to less well-off families, however, were never able to accrue much money since public service jobs often do not pay much.
Presidents who never became wealthy had many different reasons for not achieving greater wealth. During the 1800s, access to education and upward economic and social mobility was extremely difficult for those living in…