Leon Trotsky Net Worth: What Was His Fortune?

Leon Trotsky was a renowned Russian revolutionary and theorist, who played an integral role in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. He has been remembered as one of the most important figures in the history of Russia and the Soviet Union, but what is less known is his personal financial situation during this time period. In this blog post, we’ll explore Trotsky’s finances before and after the revolution, where he got his money from, and his struggles with wealth after being exiled from Russia.

leon trotsky net worth

Background Information on Leon Trotsky

Trotsky was born Lev Davidovich Bronstein in 1879 in present-day Ukraine to Jewish parents. As a young man, he studied Marxist economic theory and became politically active in many socialist movements. After joining the Bolsheviks and taking part in their October Revolution, Trotsky held several high-ranking positions within the new government; including Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet and People’s Commissar for War. During this time, he became one of Vladimir Lenin’s closest confidants.

Trotsky’s Rise To Power During The Bolshevik Revolution

With Lenin’s death in 1924, Trotsky was seen as a potential successor by some, yet Stalin managed to outmaneuver him and seize power. This led to years of political infighting between them and eventually resulted in Trotsky being expelled from the Communist Party and exiled from Russia in 1929. Following his exile, he moved around Europe and wrote extensively about politics and philosophy, though much of his writing was censored by Stalin’s regime.

Overview of Trotsky’s Finances Before & After The Revolution

During the early days of the revolution, Trotsky made very little money and relied on donations from wealthy sympathizers. When he assumed high office positions within the government, his salary increased significantly. According to various sources, Trotsky received an estimated yearly income of 200 million rubles (in today’s currency) at the peak of his career. However, following his expulsion from Russia all that changed drastically – he was forced to depend on donations from friends and supporters to survive financially.

Trotsky’s Personal Financial Struggles After Exiling From Russia

Once exiled from Russia, Trotsky found himself virtually penniless and living off donations from his supporters. Despite receiving assistance from wealthy individuals such as American journalist John Reed, it wasn’t enough to keep up with his expenses. By 1940, he was declared bankrupt by Mexican authorities due to unpaid taxes and other debts. As a result, Trotsky was unable to pay for medical care when he fell ill shortly afterwards and died soon after.

Where Did Trotsky’s Money Come From?

Most of Trotsky’s money came from three main sources: his salary while working for the Soviet Government, donations from wealthy sympathizers, and later contributions from individuals who supported his work abroad. Though much of it went towards supporting his family or covering basic living costs, there were times where Trotsky used these funds for more luxurious purchases – such as buying horses for racing or even purchasing property abroad.


In conclusion, Leon Trotsky’s net worth fluctuated dramatically over the course of his life. Prior to the Bolshevik Revolution he had very little money, but once he joined the government his finances improved substantially – albeit temporarily. Once exiled from Russia, he struggled financially and ultimately died without any significant assets to show for it. Nevertheless, he left behind a legacy of powerful words which will live on forever in history books.

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