General Question

talljasperman's avatar

Who was the financially poorest person to become United States President?

Asked by talljasperman (17858 points ) July 17th, 2012

Who was the closest to this:
From cradle to grave financially poor.
Won an election without accepting money from others and not having any of his own?

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8 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Probably Truman. CLosely followed by Millard Fillmore and Andrew Johnson.

tom_g's avatar

This might help. It shows the net worth of all U.S. presidents. (Warning: Awful slideshow format. What is wrong with a list?).

Judi's avatar

Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer. He had to put his farm in a blind trust while he was president and when he left office he found that it had been mis managed. I don’t know if he still has the farm, but I don’t think he ever became as rich as those who followed him.

Judi's avatar

@tonm G, that was great. Quite a few surprises there. I especially liked learning how wealthy and out of touch Herbert Hoover was. If we are not careful we could end up electing another Herbert Hoover this cycle.

bolwerk's avatar

There are lots of presidents who have risen up from relatively humble beginnings to the presidency, including arguably Obama, but presidents tend to come from the ranks of the upper middle class or wealthy with inherited money. Lincoln and Truman never went to college. I think Grant died in relative poverty.

It’s probably very difficult for an ex-president to be poor today, @Judi. Speaking engagements alone net big bucks. Herbert Hoover was probably our last paleocon president. He was wealthy and out of touch, but probably for different reasons than Mitt Romney.

Sunny2's avatar

@tom_g Thank you for the information. Kind of changes things when you think of what a dollar was worth then and now. It’d be interesting to see that chart.

tom_g's avatar

@Sunny2 – Those amounts are in today’s dollar.

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