George H.W. Bush, the former president, was a wealthy man, but his holdings were tied up in property to some degree.
On November 30, 2018, the Bush family revealed that Bush had passed away at the age of 94. Former President George W. Bush released a statement on the evening of November 30, 2018. It read: “Jeb, Neil, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died. George H.W. Bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. The entire Bush family is deeply grateful for 41’s life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for Dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens.”
How wealthy are the Bushes?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Bush Was Worth More Than $20 Million
Most sites that estimate the wealth of prominent figures put George H.W. Bush’s wealth at between $23 million and $24 million.
The UK Daily Mail listed George H.W. Bush’s wealth at $23 million, $3 million more than his son, former President George W. Bush.
At that time, the newspaper said most of Bush’s wealth came from buying and selling properties due to various moves required by his political career.
2. Bush Spent Most of His Life in Public Service
One of the reasons that George H.W. Bush is not a wealthier man is because he has spent virtually his entire life in public service.
Bush served in World War II, and then was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the director of the CIA, and he served as vice president under President Ronald Reagan before being elected to the presidency himself.
These positions are not poorly paid, but they are also not geared toward creating enormous wealth in and of themselves. He did have a brief career in the oil industry in Texas, according to Biography.com.
3. Bush Owns Property in Maine & Texas
George and Barbara Bush live in Houston, but they also own the famous family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.
According to Seacoastonline, the Bushes’ summer home in Maine is owned by the Walker’s Point Family Limited Partnership. The main home was built in 1920 and has 7,000 square feet, “six bedrooms, six bathrooms and three fireplaces. Situated on 6.4 oceanfront acres along Ocean Avenue, the compound also features an additional home and outbuildings,” reported the news site.
Seacoastonline said the Bush property was worth $8.4 million in 2010 and the Bushes paid $53,000 in taxes annually.
In 1993, The New York Times called the Bushes’ Houston home, a “two-and-a-half-story home on a modest lot in the affluent but hardly showy Tanglewood section.”
Bush also made money off speeches after the presidency, charging up to $100,000 per speech, according to UK Daily Mail.
4. Bush Did Not Inherit Much Money & Didn’t Do Well in the Stock Market Early On
The 1988 New York Times’ article reported that Bush only inherited a “modest” amount of money, didn’t do that well in the stock market, and sold his oil business interest in 1966 to enter Congress before it truly made him wealthy.
According to the New York Times, both Bush and his wife were born into families of means but were determined to make it on their own. Prescott Bush Sr., Bush’s father, left an estate of $3.5 million, the newspaper reported, adding that Bush wrote in his autobiography that he and Barbara “never considered going to our families for seed money.”
5. Bush Is Not the Wealthiest Former President
According to UK Daily Mail, Bush is wealthy, but he doesn’t rank among the wealthiest U.S. Presidents. Even former President Bill Clinton is worth more than Bush, with an estimated worth of at least $38 million, reported the site. Other sites put Clinton’s net worth as high as $75 million.
JFK, heir to the Kennedy fortune, is widely regarded as the wealthiest. Many of the wealthiest presidents came in the founding years of the country because they had extensive landholdings.
The UK Daily Mail reported, via Business Insider, that these presidents were wealthier than Bush, in addition to Clinton:
John F. Kennedy: $1 billion
Franklin Delano Roosevelt: $60 million
Herbert Hoover: $75 million
George Washington: $525 million
Thomas Jefferson: $212 million
James Madison: $101 million
James Monroe: $27 million
Andrew Jackson: $119 million
Martin Van Buren: $26 million
John Tyler: $51 million
Grover Cleveland: $25 million
Lyndon Johnson: $98 million