Trump vs. Obama: Here’s How Much Each President Is Really Worth, and How He Made His Money

No matter where you stand politically, the fascination and intrigue surrounding President Trump’s net worth is a bit of a chin-scratcher. His refusal to hand over his tax returns and financial documentation certainly are not helping his cause. As for former President Obama, he has been an open book. So, between Trump and Obama, here’s how much each president is really worth, and how they made their money. 

1. Obama made his money through politics and teaching

He made his money teaching and working as a senator. | Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama made an honest and modest salary through his work as a member of the Illinois State Senate, alongside teaching at the University of Chicago Law School. By modest, we mean it. In 2004, he took home $60,287 for his work as a senator and $32,144 for his work as a professor.

Next: Here’s how Obama starting rolling in the big dollars. 

2. Obama made millions off his book royalties

Barack Obama Signs Copies Of His New Book

He made millions off his book. | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

In 2005, Obama landed an $847,000 Random House book advance, followed by $378,000 in royalties. In 2006, he received another $425,000 for a book advance, along with $150,000 more in book royalties.

Fast-forward to 2007 and Obama took home $3.3 million in book royalties from Random House and an additional $816,000 from Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. Needless to say, he has done quite well as an author.

Next: Did you know this happened? 

3. Obama took home $1.4 million for his Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Peace Prize laureate, US President Barack Obama

He ended up giving away his winnings. | Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Even though Obama won the coveted Nobel Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples” in 2009, he didn’t pocket the $1.4 million in winnings. Instead, he disbursed those funds to a host of different charities like Fisher House, Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, and the Posse Foundation (amongst many others).

Next: Here is how Trump got his start.

4. Trump had a little help from dad

Trump father and mother

Trump got a loan from his dad. | Donald J. Trump via Facebook

Shortly after President Trump graduated from college, his father loaned (it remains unclear whether this was an inheritance or not) him $1 million in order to jumpstart his real estate career. Trump, with the help of his father, took out $100 million in loans to invest in large developments that we now know as Trump Tower, Grand Hyatt Hotel, and Trump Plaza.

Next: Trump leveraged his name to create an empire. 

5. Trump successfully branded himself

Trump Tower in NYC

Trump has literally branded his empire. | bluebeat76/iStock/Getty Images

Despite a slew of bad deals and bankruptcies, Trump has certainly experienced a lot of financial success. Besides investing in real estate opportunities, he built a brand and ran with it. From golf courses to clothing lines, self-named vodka to fragrances, and even buying then selling the Miss Universe Organization, Trump has managed to do well for himself.

Next: Presidential salaries aren’t too shabby. 

6. Presidents earn $400,000 salary

President Donald Trump

He’s making much less as a president. | Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

In 1999, former President Bill Clinton gave the thumbs up on doubling the presidential salary to $400,000. At nearly half a million dollars, those yearly wages are well-earned. According to a report, a U.S. president logs around 13 hours of work every day of the week, which translates to 91 hours every single week. If you take into account two weeks of vacation time, the president’s hourly earnings shake out to around $89.71.

Rather than taking his presidential salary, Trump has donated the money to various government agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education.

Next: So which one is really worth more? 

7. Obama is worth $40 million

barack obama laughing in a black bow tie tuxedo

He can smile all the way to the bank. | Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Through a mixture of very successful book deals, investments, and his eight-year run as U.S. president, Barack Obama is estimated to be worth $40 million. Most of those assets are tied up in mutual funds. Nevertheless, the Obama family is doing just fine, as the former first lady, Michelle Obama, is also estimated to worth almost $12 million.

Next: Trump’s net worth is still in question. 

8. Trump is allegedly worth $2.9 billion

Trump face looking left on a dark background

He makes Obama look broke. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

Trump has long-boasted of his billionaire status, yet a lot of signs indicate that may not be completely true. Regardless, Bloomberg has followed his worth for years and pinpointed that Trump is hovering around $2.9 billion ever since a decrease in wealth hit Trump’s pocketbook back in 2017. As it currently stands, Trump is still wealthier than Obama, but only time will tell if that fact holds true.

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