What Is Barack Obama’s Net Worth? He Makes *Way* More Now As An Ex-President (2023)

Barack Obama made history when he was elected president of the United States in 2008, becoming the first Black person to rise to the highest office in the nation. He ended his tenure as the leader of the free world with an approval rating that certified him as one of the most beloved politicians to hold the position, and since leaving the role, he’s remained incredibly popular.

As a family, the Obamas were well off before they moved into the White House, but it wasn’t until after his eight-year incumbency was over that the 44th president began earning the biggest paydays of his life. Whether it be from writing books, producing documentaries, speaking to large audiences, or even recording a podcast, it seems everything Obama does comes with an enormous paycheck.

Here’s a look at Barack Obama’s net worth and how he earns his millions now that he’s a regular (albeit rich) American citizen once again.

6 Ways Barack Obama Makes His Millions

1. Before Politics

Prior to jumping into the world of politics, Obama was busy using his law degrees to better communities, especially in Illinois. He worked as a community organizer at the Developing Communities Project, which was created “to provide a foundation, through churches, for organizing to address community issues and secure equitable resources.” He was there from 1985 until 1988.

In the summers of 1989 and 1990, Obama worked as a summer associate (as he was still in law school at the time) at the law firms Sidley Austin and then Hopkins & Sutter. The following year, he signed on to spend two years as a visiting law and government fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, during which time he also began working on his first book.

Through much of 1992, Obama directed Illinois’ Project Vote, which has been described as “the most effective minority voter registration drive in memory.” He then began teaching at the University of Chicago Law School in 1992 and continued through 2004.

(Video) Barack Obama - Protecting Democracy and the Commitment to Facts | The Daily Show

In addition to teaching, Obama was also a lawyer at Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, where he worked on civil rights cases and neighborhood economic development. He was employed by that firm from 1993 through 2004, when he threw his hat into the political ring.

During the years before he became a politician, Obama also served on a number of boards, including the Woods Fund of Chicago, the Joyce Foundation, and Chicago Annenberg Challenge. What he earned for most of these positions and jobs isn’t exactly clear, but the future president didn’t make more than $30,000 as a professor or later a state representative during these years, while his wife, Michelle, earned much more from her law career. Forbes reports that the Obamas earned $130,000 from corporate boards between 2005 and 2016, though how that’s split between the two, or broken down by position, was not shared.

2. Politics

Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, and then reelected in 1998 and 2002. In 2000, he lost a race for the 1st Congressional District in Illinois, but then he went on to win a Senate seat in 2004, officially becoming a national politician, as opposed to a local one. When he became a U.S. senator, his salary grew to more than $150,000.

After less than four years as a senator, Obama was elected president of the United States, and once again, his salary climbed significantly. As president, he earned $400,000 per year, and the job came with other financial perks as well. He was given an expense account of $150,000, a travel account that was worth at least $100,000, and an entertainment budget of $20,000, among others. As a former president, Obama is still making money from his time in office, as he collects a pension of around $200,000 per year, though the exact amount can vary.

3. Books

Before he became a politician, Obama tried his hand at writing, and that would go on to be the career that first earned him tens of millions of dollars. In addition to advances, the former president reportedly earns $1.12 for every paperback book he sells and $3.75 for every hardcover edition.

(Video) Barack Obama's final speech as president – video highlights

Obama’s first book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, was published in 1995. While only modestly successful at first, sales picked up considerably in 2004 after he spoke at the Democratic National Convention. Millions tuned in to hear his speech, and the title was republished, quickly becoming a strong seller. In 2005, the Obamas earned $1.65 million, with most of that coming from book royalties.

In 2006, Obama published his second book, The Audacity of Hope, which was well-received and commercially successful upon its release. The following year, the political family’s income rose to $4.2 million, again thanks largely to book sales.

In 2010, two years into his first term as president of the United States, Obama released a children’s book titled, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters. He donated the proceeds from sales to “a scholarship fund for the children of fallen and disabled soldiers serving our nation,” according to a statement shared by the publisher.

All told, between 2005 and 2016, Obama may have earned as much as $15.6 million in book advances and royalties connected to the three titles released by that point.

In 2017, a bidding war began among publishers to secure the rights to Obama’s first book to be published following his time in office. Some at the time predicted that he’d earn as much as $20 million for the then-unannounced effort. The former president partnered with wife Michelle to sell the publishing rights to their separate works as one, raising the price tag significantly. In the end, Penguin Random House paid a reported $65 million for books from both Obamas.

His fourth book, A Promised Land, sold just under 900,000 copies in the first 24 hours it was available in November 2020, immediately becoming a bestseller. It ended 2020 as the bestselling title of the year, selling 2.6 million copies.

(Video) President Obama Meets With President-Elect Trump

4. Speaking

Following his tenure as president of the United States, Obama began working with the Harry Walker agency, which secured him high-paying and high-profile speaking opportunities. Since leaving office, he has spoken to crowds at events powered by companies like Cantor Fitzgerald LP, the Carlyle Group, and the Northern Trust Corp, which reportedly paid him $400,000 each for his time.

Obama also sat down for a 90-minute interview with presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin for a special event commissioned by cable network A&E, which reportedly netted him another $400,000.

5. TV, Film & Podcasts

In 2018, the Obamas created their own production company and named it Higher Ground Productions, and they soon signed a deal with Netflix to produce content including films, TV shows, documentaries, docuseries, and more. Exact financial details regarding the deal, which includes both Barack and Michelle, weren’t shared by the streamer, but sources suggest it may have cost the platform as much as $50 million or more.

Since being formed in 2018, Higher Ground Productions has backed films like Kevin Hart’s Fatherhood as well as Worth, which starred Michael Keaton and Stanley Tucci, and TV shows such as Ada Twist, Scientist, Waffles + Mochi, and We the People. The company is also behind the Oscar-winning documentary American Factory, the Oscar-nominated doc Crip Camp, and the Emmy-nominated Becoming, based on Michelle’s book of the same name. Some of these titles include the Obamas, but not all. One that does is Netflix’s 2022 nature-focused docuseries Our Great National Parks, which the former president narrates and appears in.

(Video) Couch Commander

In 2019, the Obamas (through Higher Ground Productions) signed a deal with Spotify to produce original podcasts. The streaming giant reportedly paid $25 million, and each Michelle and Barack launched one series. The former politician’s offering was titled Renegades: Born in the USA, and it featured him in conversation with rocker Bruce Springsteen across eight episodes. In 2022, Spotify opted not to renew its contract with the former first family, and the Obamas are reportedly now looking at offers from other companies, ones which may be worth $10 million or more.

6. Other

When Obama was named the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, he was given the prestigious title as well as a cash prize of about $1.4 million. He chose to donate it to various charities, giving hundreds of thousands to nonprofits like the Fisher House, the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund, and the United Negro College Fund.

What Is Barack Obama’s Net Worth?


(Video) Barack Obama Reveals What Daughters Sasha and Malia Are REALLY Like!

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Obama is worth $70 million. Looking forward, he and his family members will likely continue to have extremely lucrative opportunities in writing, producing, and speaking. One prediction suggests that the Obamas could go on to earn close to a quarter of a billion dollars throughout their lifetimes.


How much money did Barack Obama have before he became president? ›

In December 2007, Money Magazine estimated Obama's net worth at $1.3 million (equivalent to $1.7 million in 2021). Their 2009 tax return showed a household income of $5.5 million—up from about $4.2 million in 2007 and $1.6 million in 2005—mostly from sales of his books.

Who is the richest living president? ›

1. Donald Trump, 45th president, 2017 – 2021, US$3 billion.

What was Ronald Reagan's net worth? ›

Ronald Reagan ranks second on our list for net worth when entering office. The one-time actor had $10.6 million to his name before starting the first of two terms in 1981, growing that to $15.4 million by the time he died in 2004.

What is George Washington's net worth? ›

But comparing Washington's net worth of $780,000.00 to the worth of the average modern American would equate to $594.2 million in current value. Despite this vast wealth, it was largely made up of valuable assets as opposed to cash reserves, so Washington can be described as asset rich but cash poor.

How much is Donald Trump worth today? ›

Forbes estimates it at $3.2 billion as of October 26, 2022, with Trump making much higher claims. Trump received a small loan from his father, and he has also made money from fundraising, real estate ventures, hotels, casinos, golf courses, and Trump-branded products including neckties and steaks.

How much money does a president make after leaving office? ›

The Former Presidents Act of 1958 provides several benefits and perks that are available to presidents after they leave office. The biggest personal benefit that former presidents are entitled to is an annual pension equal to the pay for a Cabinet Secretary, which is $221,400 in 2021.

Has any US president gone to jail? ›

William Henry West (September 1842 – September 6, 1915) was an African American soldier and police officer in Washington, DC said to have arrested United States President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. This is the only known record of a sitting US president being arrested.

What kind of car does Obama drive? ›

Barack Obama – Ford Escape Hybrid

The Ford Escape Hybrid is a fitting vehicle for this environmentally conscious president. People mention his many “dad-jokes” over the years, and this is definitely a family-man car. Similar to Nixon's pick, this Hybrid could have been part of a political message about going green.

Do the president and first lady sleep in the same room? ›

Prior to the Ford Administration it was common for the President and First Lady to have separate bedrooms. Until then, this room was used mostly as the First Lady's bedroom; however, it was the sleeping quarters for President Lincoln.

Who is the richest person in the world 2022? ›

Bernard Arnault & family

Bernard Arnault is the CEO and Chair of LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) and his net worth is $213.5 billion, he overtook Elon Musk as the world's richest man in 2022.

What is Elon Musk's net worth? ›

How much was Abraham Lincoln worth when he died? ›

His estate grew from $15,000 in 1861 to more than $85,000 at his death.

Who was the richest person in 1776? ›

Robert Morris, generally considered the financier of the Revolution, donated ships from his fleet of tobacco-trading vessels and turned to privateering. Raiding British convoys, he became the richest man in America. He personally signed 6,000 notes to pay off Washington's troops when the war ended.

Who was the first president to be a millionaire? ›

The first president to be a millionaire was George Washington. At the time of his death, he owned more than $500 million worth of property.

Who is richest man in the world? ›

Elon Musk, who holds the first position as the richest person in the world, if we talk about his total assets, we find that his total assets are around two hundred and fifty billion dollars. According to World Richest Man 2023 Today, Elon Musk's SpaceX-owned rocket company is estimated to be worth around $100 billion.

Who is the richest person in the United States? ›

Jeff Bezos

How much money does Bill Gates have? ›

Is Elon Musk richer than Donald Trump? ›

Trump's net worth has jumped from $2.5 billion in 2021 to $3.2 billion this year, Forbes estimated. By comparison, the richest person in the U.S. is Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has a net worth of $251 billion, according to Forbes.

Does the president get a pension for life? ›

Former presidents receive a pension equal to the salary of a Cabinet secretary (Executive Level I); as of 2020, it is $219,200 per year. The pension begins immediately after a president's departure from office.

Who gets Secret Service protection after leaving office? ›

How long do former presidents receive Secret Service protection after they leave office? In 1965, Congress authorized the Secret Service (Public Law 89-186) to protect a former president and his/her spouse during their lifetime, unless they decline protection.

Do ex presidents get retirement pay? ›

(a) Each former President shall be entitled for the remainder of his life to receive from the United States a monetary allowance at a rate per annum, payable monthly by the Secretary of the Treasury, which is equal to the annual rate of basic pay, as in effect from time to time, of the head of an executive department, ...

Has any president had a tattoo? ›

Theodore Roosevelt, however, is the only American president ever documented to have had tattoos on his body, in real life, although from gunpowder.

Who can fire the vice president of the United States? ›

The Constitution of the United States gives Congress the authority to remove the vice president of the United States from office in two separate proceedings.

Which president got a speeding ticket while riding his horse? ›

Here's a fun Presidential fact for you – Ulysses S. Grant got a speeding ticket on a horse. Yep, the 18th President was given a $20 speeding ticket for riding his horse too fast down a Washington street. Remelia Delizo and 1,057 others like this.

What is the car of Bill Gates? ›

Bill Gates' Favorite Car, A 1979 Porsche 911

Also known as Bill Gates' favorite car, the Porsche 911 was introduced to the masses back in 1964.

What kind of car does Trump drive? ›

Donald Trump two Rolls-Royce models in his car collection: a 1956 Silver Cloud and a 2010 Phantom. Both cars are designed for passengers in the rear seat. And that means that Trump can just sit back, enjoy the ride and… go on his favorite social media app to cause controversy.

What car does Joe Biden drive in? ›

Biden, who grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and parts of Delaware, now keeps the 1967 Corvette at his home in Wilmington, Delaware. He drives it as often as he can, Ben Halle, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, told the Free Press in a previous interview.

Is it normal for a husband and wife to sleep in separate rooms? ›

Though it may go undiscussed, this arrangement is anything but unusual. A 2017 survey from the National Sleep Foundation found that one in four married couples choose to sleep in separate rooms, and a 2012 survey from Better Sleep Council shared similar results.

Who was the first US president to sleep in the White House? ›

After eight years of construction, President John Adams and his wife Abigail moved into the still-unfinished residence.

Is there a swimming pool at the White House? ›

The swimming pool at the White House, the official residence of the president of the United States, is located on the South Lawn near the West Wing.

Who is the richest family in the world? ›

The top 10 richest families in 2022 by estimated wealth are:
  • The Hermès family with $94.6 billion.
  • The Ambani family with $84.6 billion.
  • The Wertheimer family with $79 billion.
  • The Cargill, MacMillan family with $65.2 billion.
  • The Thomson family with $53.9 billion.
  • The Hoffman, Oeri family with $45.1 billion1.

Who is richest man in the world 2023? ›

World Richest Man 2023
  • Top 10 Billionaires List & Net Worth. The individuals who top the list of the wealthiest people in the world may alter annually depending on their most recent net worth and financial achievement. ...
  • Elon Musk – $190 billion. ...
  • #2. ...
  • #3. ...
  • #4. ...
  • #5. ...
  • #6. ...
  • #7.
11 hours ago

Who is first richest person in the world? ›

LVMH – France Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault is the first richest person on the earth. His net worth is $193 billion resulting from his business across an empire of more than 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.

How much value has Tesla lost? ›

The electric-carmaker's stock lost 65% of its value in 2022. And the company kicked off the new year with yet another plunge, dropping 12% in a single day after disappointing sales figures were announced.

Does Elon Musk own PayPal? ›

How much did Elon Musk sell PayPal for? In 2002, eBay purchased PayPal for $1.5 billion. As the majority shareholder in the company with 11.72 percent of shares, Musk made between $175 million and $180 million from the deal.

How many companies does Elon Musk own? ›

The world's richest man just bought Twitter for US$44 billion – finally – but he also owns Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and The Boring Company.

Who is the richest president adjusted for inflation? ›

1. Donald Trump (Net Worth $2.9 billion) When adjusted for inflation, Donald Trump is the richest person to ever serve as president — even at the lowest estimate.

What was George Washington's net worth when he died? ›

Certainly, in his later years Washington could claim to be a wealthy man, and when he died in 1799 his estate was pegged at about $780,000.

Who are the richest US presidents adjusted for inflation? ›

  1. George Washington (1789-1797) $525 million.
  2. Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) $212 million.
  3. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) $125 million.
  4. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) $119 million.
  5. James Madison (1809-1817) $101 million.
  6. Lyndon Baines Johnson (1963-1969) $98 million.
  7. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) $75 million.

Who is the richest family in US history? ›

In the 1996 book The Wealthy 100, authors Michael Klepper and Robert Gunther placed John D. Rockefeller atop the list of the richest Americans in history, followed by Cornelius Vanderbilt and John Jacob Astor. Bill Gates was the top living person, coming in fifth.

What is the richest family in history? ›

Despite an $11 billion loss in July 2022 after Walmart's earnings fell, the Walton family is still the wealthiest family in the world with a net worth of nearly $200 billion, Insider reports. Sam Walton was the founder of Walmart, and left behind his legacy and wealth to his three children and their families.

Who is the richest man ever lived in history? ›

Rockefeller amassed his fortune from the Standard Oil company, of which he was a founder, chairman and major shareholder. By the time of his death in 1937, estimates (if using his wealth as a percentage of US GDP) place his net worth in the range of $300 billion to $400 billion.

How much is Ronald Reagan's net worth? ›

Ronald Reagan ranks second on our list for net worth when entering office. The one-time actor had $10.6 million to his name before starting the first of two terms in 1981, growing that to $15.4 million by the time he died in 2004.

Who is America's first billionaire? ›

The American business magazine Forbes produces a global list of known U.S. dollar billionaires every year and updates an Internet version of this list in real-time. The American oil magnate John D. Rockefeller became the world's first confirmed U.S. dollar billionaire in 1916.

Who is the world richest actor 2022? ›

Top 10 richest actors in the world
  • #1. Jerry Seinfeld. Age- 68 years. ...
  • #2. Shahrukh Khan. Age- 56 years. ...
  • #3. Tyler Perry. Age- 53 years. ...
  • #4. Tom Cruise. Age- 60 years. ...
  • #5. George Clooney. Age- 61 years. ...
  • #6. Robert De Niro. Age- 79 years. ...
  • #8. Mel Gibson. Age- 66 Years. ...
  • #9. Adam Sandler. Age- 56 Years.
5 days ago

How to become rich? ›

How To Get Rich: 8 Tips For Building Wealth
  1. Establish Financial Goals. To get rich, you need to start by defining exactly what rich means to you. ...
  2. Destroy Your Debt. ...
  3. Create a Cushion. ...
  4. Start Investing Now. ...
  5. Diversify Your Portfolio. ...
  6. Boost Your Income. ...
  7. Learn about FIRE. ...
  8. Avoid the Schemes.
Dec 29, 2022

Who is the richest woman in the world 2023? ›

World's Richest Females 2023

According to Forbes, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers of France is currently the richest woman in the world. She is at number 12 in the list of the world's richest. The 68-year-old Bettencourt is the owner of the successful skincare and cosmetic brand L'Oreal.

Which president was the poorest president? ›

The richest president in history is purported to be Donald Trump. His net worth, however, is not precisely known because the Trump Organization is privately held. Truman was among the poorest U.S. presidents, with a net worth considerably less than $1 million.

How much did Barack Obama spend in 2008 to win the presidency? ›

Fundraising for the 2008 United States presidential election
Candidate (party)Amount raisedAverage spent per vote
Barack Obama (D)$778,642,962$10.94
John McCain (R)$383,913,834$5.97
Ralph Nader (I)$4,496,180$5.67
Bob Barr (L)$1,383,681$2.57
3 more rows

Which president made the least money? ›

According to an analysis by 24/7 Wall St., the poorest U.S. president was Harry Truman—and though Truman was never extremely wealthy, he still collected a solid paycheck during and after the presidency.

Who was the first rich president? ›

George Washington (Net Worth $587 million)

What's more, from 1789 to 1797, his presidential salary accounted for 2% of the federal budget. That would come out to an outstanding $60 billion today, according to The Georgetowner. However, Washington's real wealth came from his inheritance.

Who is the most forgotten president? ›

Harrison is one of the least well-known presidents among the general public; a 2012 article in New York selected Harrison as the "most forgotten president." Harrison is the only president to be preceded and succeeded by the same individual. He is also the only president to be the grandson of another president.

Who was the best president? ›

Abraham Lincoln has taken the highest ranking in each survey and George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Theodore Roosevelt have always ranked in the top five while James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Franklin Pierce have been ranked at the bottom of all four surveys.

How much money did Obama spend on his campaign? ›

Between early-2011 and June 30, 2012, the Obama campaign and supporters spent approximately $400 million, according to the Federal Election Commission. Obama won his reelection bid by a margin of 51.06 to 47.21%.

How much money did Obama raise in 2012? ›

CandidateMoney RaisedCash On Hand
Barack Obama$49,167,908.64$87,747,677.61

What states did Obama lose in 2008? ›

Obama flipped nine states that had voted Republican in 2004: Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia, as well as Nebraska's 2nd congressional district.

Who was the last president with no debt? ›

On January 8, 1835, president Andrew Jackson paid off the entire national debt, the only time in U.S. history that has been accomplished.

What president died in poverty? ›

Thomas Jefferson-- our country's third President, an American Founding Father, the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence-- yes, my friends, he absolutely and unequivocally died broke.

Who is the richest person on earth? ›

Key Takeaways
  • Bernard Arnault, co-founder, chair, and CEO of LVMH, is the richest person and the richest man in the world with a net worth of $190 billion. ...
  • After Arnault is co-founder and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk.


1. Comparing the 'Trump economy' vs. the 'Obama economy' | Fact Checker
(Washington Post)
2. Watch President Obama deliver his final speech at United Nations
(PBS NewsHour)
3. Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States | Biography
4. How much taxpayers spend to support former presidents
5. Barack Obama's Net Worth 2022 #shorts
6. Barack Obama speaks out on politics, life in the White House, and Donald Trump
(CBS Sunday Morning)
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