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Which Presidents Have Forgone the Presidential Salary?


Donald Trump will be the first president in over half a century to refuse to take the $400,000 presidential salary. From the start of his campaign, the President-elect has vowed to set aside his business responsibilities if elected, and in his 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, his children said they would be taking over those duties. At one point during the interview, Eric said, “… we’ll be in New York and we’ll take care of the business. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it. And we’re going to make him very proud.” Trump added on, “This is big league stuff. This is– this is our country. Our country is going bad. We’re going to save our country. I don’t care about hotel occupancy. It’s peanuts compared to what we’re doing. Health care, making people better. It’s unfair what’s happened to the people of our country and we’re going to change it. As simple as that.”

Trump first revealed he would not be taking the presidential salary if elected at an event in Rochester, New Hampshire, on September 17, 2015. “The first thing I’m going to do is tell you that if I’m elected president, I’m accepting no salary, okay? That’s not a big deal for me.”

1962: US statesman John F Kennedy, 35th president of the USA, making a speech. (Getty)

Who else has forgone the salary in the past? According to the Independent Journal Review, John F. Kennedy was the wealthiest man ever sworn into the presidency, and gave his presidential salary to charity once he got into the White House (he did the same with his congressional salary).

Herbert Hoover (1874 – 1964), 31st President of the United States from 1928 to 1932. (Getty)

Herbert Hoover, who served as the 31st President of the United States from 1929 to 1933, had an estimated net worth of about $4 million in 1913, according to the Independent Journal Review. His money came from mining. After stepping into office, Hoover split his salary between a number of charities, and put the rest towards his staff’s salary.

According to Forbes, Trump has an estimated net worth of about $3.7 billion.

Donald Trump will be the third president to forego the presidential salary of $400,000. Find out which other presidents refused salary.