Woodrow Wilson’s Net Worth: An Overview

Woodrow Wilson was the 26th president of the United States from 1913 until 1921. He was a scholar, politician and leader who helped shape America into the great nation it is today. As such, many wonder what his net worth was when he left office in 1921, and what it is today. This article will provide an insight into Woodrow Wilson’s net worth throughout his life, looking at his assets during presidential terms, sources of income after leaving office and how his legacy impacts his wealth today.

Introduction to Woodrow Wilson and His Net Worth

Woodrow Wilson had a net worth of around $11 million dollars (adjusted for inflation) at the time of his death in 1924. Although this may seem like a lot of money, by comparison to other U.S. presidents it is relatively modest. While John F. Kennedy’s estimated net worth was more than $100 million and George Washington’s was nearly $600 million, Woodrow Wilson was among the least wealthy American presidents.

Wilson’s Assets at Time of Death

At the time of his death, Woodrow Wilson had amassed a considerable estate, mostly thanks to his wife’s inheritance of stocks and real estate holdings. The most valuable asset included two farms in Virginia which totaled about 12 acres. Other items listed in his will included a library, artworks and various furnishings from the White House.

Assets During His Presidential Terms

It is difficult to determine precisely how much wealth Wilson had accumulated while serving as President because some of his financial records have been lost or destroyed over time. However, research suggests that he did not accumulate significant amounts of personal wealth during this period and likely received no salary increase since 1912, when he became governor of New Jersey.

Comparing Incomes With Other U.S. Presidents

When compared with other U.S. presidents, Woodrow Wilson had one of the lowest incomes in office. At the time, the salary for the job was $75,000 per year, less than half of what Franklin Roosevelt made during his first term as President. By contrast, George Washington earned around $400,000 annually during his second term in office, making him the highest paid president up to that point in history.

woodrow wilson net worth

Where Did Most of His Money Come From?

Most of Woodrow Wilson’s wealth came from his wife’s family investments in stocks and real estate holdings. These investments increased significantly in value during World War I, which gave them enough capital to purchase additional properties and make generous donations to charities and universities. Additionally, Wilson also received sizable speaking fees before and after becoming President.

Sources of Income After His Presidential Term Ended

After retiring from office in 1921, Wilson remained active in politics but began to focus on writing books and delivering lectures instead of campaigning for office. He wrote five books between 1922-1926, earning royalties from their sales as well as additional payments from newspapers for serializing them in parts. In addition to these works, Wilson lectured widely across Europe and the US, receiving an honorarium for each talk given.

Financial Struggles in Retirement

Despite these additional sources of income, Wilson struggled financially during retirement due to medical bills related to health issues that developed following a stroke he suffered in 1919. As a result, he found himself having to rely increasingly on charitable donations from friends and supporters in order to keep afloat financially.

Legacy and Wealth Today

Today, Woodrow Wilson’s legacy has become entrenched in American history, both as one of our most esteemed presidents and as a man dedicated to public service. Unfortunately, however, he never achieved any significant financial success outside of inheriting his wife’s fortune.

Inheritance Amongst Descendants

Wilson’s descendants inherited much of his wealth after his passing and today enjoy lives of privilege thanks to their ancestor’s legacy. Though we can only speculate as to their exact fortunes today, it is safe to assume they are living comfortably off of the wealth inherited from their illustrious relative.


In conclusion, Woodrow Wilson’s net worth was relatively small when compared with other US presidents but nonetheless impressive considering he lived during a time without Social Security or pension plans. Much of his wealth was tied up in stocks and real estate holdings inherited from his wife’s family, although he managed to supplement this income with book royalties and lecture fees. Ultimately, though he faced several financial struggles during retirement, his legacy and accomplishments live on through his descendants who continue to reap the benefits of his wealth even today.

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