Net Worth: $28M
Served: 1885-1889 and 1893-1897
You may recognize the face of President Cleveland from some famous dollar bills – or, thousand-dollar bills, that is. His was the mug chosen to be printed on the $1,000 bank notes, last made in the 1940’s. He was the son of a preacher and modest bookstore owner, growing up, and he earned his attorney’s license and practiced for 12 years before he went into office. First, he served as the mayor of Buffalo, NY, then he went on to become governor before he was elected to the presidency.
But Grover Cleveland’s $28 million net worth didn’t all come from his time in law and politics. Rather, he also dabbled in high-end real estate, earning several millions of dollars through flipping various properties, including his own mansion in New Jersey. Cleveland rose the bar as president, becoming the very first president to serve two terms, nonconsecutively, and also the first democratic leader since the civil war.
President Van Buren
Net Worth: $29M
Van Buren was actually the first president of the country that had not been born as a subject of Britain. He grew up in a semi middle-class family in New York, making his lifetime feats that much more incredible. Although he was not rich at all when he was a child, his parents still owned slaves. He became a lawyer after his schooling, which is where he began to really stack his wealth. But the majority of the nearly $30 million he would acquire would come from his time in politics.
Van Buren, who became known by the nickname of the “Little Magician,” inherited a wealthy country, too…but that phase wouldn’t last for long. Because of some of the moves of his predecessor, Andrew Jackson, the financial crash of 1837 hit just 3 months into his presidency. Hundreds of businesses and banks were plunged into ruin, causing nationwide panic. Van Buren passed away in 1862 and unfortunately, didn’t leave much of a positive legacy behind.
Net Worth: $58M
John Tyler grew up in an extremely wealthy family with 7 siblings, all of whom were literally raised to become elitists by their elitist parents. He followed in his father’s footsteps and first became a lawyer before going into politics. When his father passed away, he inherited a large portion of his estate – and the slaves along with it. Around the same time, he married a woman who hailed from another elite family in his area.
Tyler, the 10th president of the United States, was also the 1st president to obtain his position due to the death of his predecessor – William Henry Harrison. After his retirement, he moved back to his plantation with his 2nd wife. Then, in 1861 he voted in favor of Virginia to secede from the U.S, which made the current government see him as a traitor to the entire nation. He passed away the year later and was actually in debt by that time.
Net Worth: $9M
Dwight D. Eisenhower is another shining example of someone who made the most out of the American Dream. He grew up in a rural farm town, with a blue-collar family. His father worked as a mechanic and his mother was a stay-at-home Mennonite. He attended West Point, and then joined the military, where he served for an extensive period of time before his time in office.
He became extremely decorated within the service, and even obtained the rank of five-star general. He also worked as president of Columbia University from 1948-1953 when he was elected to the oval office. He may have in fact been elected for a 3rd term, if the 22nd amendment of the constitution hadn’t been ratified that year to prevent him (or any other U.S future president) from being able to run again.
Net Worth: $83M
Herbert Hoover is the very definition of a self-made millionaire. His parents both died when he was a child, and he grew up living with an uncle. He earned his degree in geology from Stanford and went on to work internationally for different mining companies before WWI shook everything up. He saved thousands upon thousands of lives, both helping Americans evacuate from around Europe, and feeding over 10 million refugees.
All of his philanthropic work during the war earned him both the nickname of “The Great Humanitarian,” and the attention of president Wilson, who nominated him to head up Food Administration. That’s what initially got his foot in the door of the political world, where he ended up doing a lot of good work and making a very impressive amount of money for it. Hoover passed away in NYC in 1964, when he was 90 years old.