Since recent presidents have made their fortunes from speeches at shopping centers and book deals with multinational publishers, it may seem like their predecessors in the olden days may not have had as many opportunities to strike it rich.
But early presidents did pretty well financially, too: Of the 10 richest presidents in history, more were born in the 1700s than in the 1900s (inflation adjusted, of course).
That’s right… George Washington was a startup founder
After leaving the nation’s highest office, George Washington started a commercially successful whiskey distillery.
As the website for Washington’s estate, Mount Vernon, explained:
“Always keen to enterprises that might earn him extra income, Washington was intrigued by the profit potential that a distillery might bring in.”
President Lincoln was a tech nerd, too
It’s true: Honest Abe was the first (and remains the only) president to receive a US patent.
Sadly, the invention — a device for lifting riverboats over sandbars — was never produced (you might say it never got past its Kickstarter phase).