Christian Science Monitor

The Net Worth Of America’s Presidents, According To Time Magazine Estimates

As we come to the 57th Inauguration Day of the President of the United States, it is interesting to assess the net worth of our 43 Presidents who have held that office.

Time Magazine did a detailed study of this issue, and the details are quite fascinating and revealing.

Apparently, John F. Kennedy would be worth a billion dollars in 2010 US Dollars, making him the wealthiest President we have ever had, although the Christian Science Monitor estimate is much lower, $125 million, which would make Kennedy tied for third with Theodore Roosevelt.

If one accepts the Christian Science Monitor figure, then George Washington is number one in wealth with $525 million, followed by Thomas Jefferson with $212 million, and then Kennedy and TR with $125 million. Then comes Andrew Jackson with $119 million, and James Madison with $101 million. Notice that the wealthiest Presidents are early one with Southern plantations, plus the wealthy families of Kennedy and Roosevelt, our two youngest Presidents.

Lyndon B. Johnson follows with $98 million; Herbert Hoover with $75 million; Franklin D. Roosevelt with $60 million; John Tyler with $51 million; Bill Clinton with $38 million; James Monroe with $27 million; Martin Van Buren with $26 million; Grover Cleveland with $25 million; George H. W. Bush with $23 million; John Quincy Adams with $21 million; George W. Bush with $20 million; John Adams with $19 million; Richard Nixon with $15 million; Ronald Reagan with $13 million; James K. Polk with $10 million; Dwight D. Eisenhower with $8 million; Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, each with $7 million; Zachary Taylor with $6 million; William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison (his grandson), each $5 million; Barack Obama, also $5 million; Millard Fillmore with $4 million; Rutherford B. Hayes and William Howard Taft, each with $3 million; Franklin Pierce with $2 million; and William McKinley and Warren G. Harding, each with $1 million.

The remaining nine Presidents have assets worth less than one million, in the following order: James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, James Garfield, Chester Alan Arthur, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Harry Truman.

So, the early Presidents and some 20th century Presidents are near the top of the list, while mid to late 19th century are not. Also, Lincoln, Wilson, and Truman, who all had a major impact in office, were quite poor on the scale of comparison to other Presidents. But at the same time, FDR, JFK, LBJ and Clinton, all Democrats, are four of the wealthiest eleven of all time! And Barack Obama is 28th out of 43 Presidents in net worth, with growing potential for him in the future!

A Journalistic Legend Is Gone: Daniel Schorr, 1916-2010

Just as I was leaving for my NYC vacation, the news came that journalistic legend Daniel Schorr had passed away at age 93!

Daniel Schorr was one of a rare breed of journalists that we are unlikely to see again in a field that has changed so much!

Schorr worked for the Christian Science Monitor for decades! He also reported for the NY Times until he went to CBS News as part of the great group of journalists who worked for Edward R. Murrow!

He became controversial during the administration of President Richard Nixon, deeply hated by the President, who put him on the “enemy list” for his open opposition to the Nixon policies and his investigation of Watergate!

He then worked for CNN, and after a few years, went to National Public Radio, where he worked until his death! The author had heard his commentary very recently, and wondered how long he had been serving as a journalist, checking it out as being over 60 amazing years!

Schorr spoke his mind, but it was based upon careful scholarly research, not just personal opinion! He was a walking history book, having been intimately involved in our politics through his coverage of presidents from Eisenhower to Obama!

He was the winner of three Emmys during the Watergate years, as well as a Peabody for a lifetime of reporting, and numerous other awards, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Society of Professional Journalists!

Daniel Schorr was a thought provoking and insightful journalist who gave pleasure to his listeners on many channels over the years, and he cannot be replaced, any more than Walter Cronkite, one of his colleagues at CBS, can be replaced!

Journalism will never be the same, but he left a legacy that will endure!