Presidents Day Pop Quiz: Funny Money Facts About the Men in the Oval Office

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Presidents day money one dollar billEven when it comes to U.S. presidents whose faces aren't on bills and coins, discussions about America's commanders in chief frequently come back down to money. Whether the question is campaign donations or advances on memoirs, shady deals or funding for libraries, and of course, economic ups and downs (I'm looking at you, President Hoover!) it's hard to separate White House occupants from their money connections.

In honor of Presidents Day, we've compiled a list of some fun and surprising financial facts about the men who control -- and sometimes end up -- on the nation's money. Take a peek!

President's Day Pop Quiz: The Men in the Oval Office...And On the Money
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Presidents Day Pop Quiz: Funny Money Facts About the Men in the Oval Office

A. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
B. John F. Kennedy
C. Lyndon Johnson
D. George Washington

Answer: D. Between his federal salary, his real estate holdings, and his slaves, the first president had an estate valued at over $525 million in today's dollars. By comparison, Roosevelt with his $60 million and Johnson with $93 million were practically paupers.

A. Bill Clinton
B. Harry S. Truman
C. Ulysses S. Grant
D. Ronald W. Reagan

Although several presidents sold their memoirs to keep themselves afloat after leaving office, none pocketed as much for them as Bill Clinton, who received $15 million -- or $33 per word -- for his autobiography. But, when it comes to a dollar-by-word measure, the former president fell behind his first lady: For her book, Hillary Clinton got $38 per word.

A. Ulysses S. Grant
B. Rutherford B. Hayes
C. Harry S. Truman
D. Richard M. Nixon

When Truman left the White House, his only source of income was his Army pension, which paid  $112 per month.  In 1958, Congress decided to help him out by passing the Former Presidents Act, which gave him a yearly pension. A decade later, he and his wife, Bess, received the first two Medicare cards.

A. Andrew Jackson
B. Lyndon Baines Johnson
C. Richard Nixon
D. Bill Clinton

Born in a farmhouse in rural Texas, LBJ came from very modest circumstances. By the time of his death, however, his investments in aviation, cattle and broadcasting had netted the former president a fortune of over $98 million.

A. Harry S. Truman
B. Franklin Pierce
C. Dwight David Eisenhower
D. Rutherford B. Hayes

Eisenhower's face appeared on the front of the Eisenhower dollar, which was issued from 1971 to 1978. Pierce and Hayes have both appeared on dollar coins -- Pierce in 2010 and Hayes in 2011. Truman has yet to appear on any U.S. currency, although he scheduled to get his own dollar coin in 2015.

A. Mitt Romney
B. H. Ross Perot
C. Steve Forbes
D. Teddy Roosevelt

With a personal fortune valued at between $190 and $250 million, Mitt Romney would have been among the richest presidents in history, easily outpacing Teddy Roosevelt. But his wealth is less impressive next to that of Ross Perot and Steve Forbes. Perot was worth over $3 billion when he ran for president in 1992 and 1996, while Forbes' fortune topped $450 million when he ran in 1996 and 2000.

A side note: Though it might have appeared to the untrained eye that Donald Trump was, for a time, running for president last election cycle, he never officially declared himself a candidate before he decided to bow out. However, if The Donald had gotten into the race, his wealth of at least $2.7 billion (he says the number is higher) would have made him a contender for the title of wealthiest presidential candidate ever.

A. George Washington
B. Abraham Lincoln
C. William Henry Harrison
D. John F. Kennedy

While any signature by a former president is valuable, autographs made while in office are especially pricey. For that reason, one of the most valuable presidential signatures is William Henry Harrison's. He only held the office for a month, much of which he spent fighting pneumonia. A presidential signature of his sold at auction for $90,000, and his letters can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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